Mollema wins Clasica San Sebastian

Gallopin beats Valverde in sprint for second place

Bauke Mollema(Trek-Segafredo) took an emotional solo victory at the Clasica San Sebastian after an aggressive solo attack over the new final climb of new Murgil Tontorra just eight kilometres from the finish of the WorldTour race.

The Dutchman opened a gap on the descent and fought off a chase to hit the line alone and celebrate his victory by pointing at his jersey. Behind him Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) beat Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in the sprint for second, with Purito Rodriguez fourth in his final race in the Basque Country, where he developed as a young amateur rider. They finished a few seconds back, with Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) bringing home other chasers, at 34 seconds.

Just a week ago Mollema was close to tears after losing any chance of finishing on the Tour de France podium due to a crash in the rain on stage to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc. This victory was of significant consolation and showed his determination to bounce back. It will no doubt also boost his moral as he prepares to travel to Rio for the Olympic road race, where he could again be a major threat on the tough route on next Saturday’s road race.

"I’m really happy to have this win. I felt good all day. In the last years, I was always in the top 10 here. I’ve recovered well from the Tour de France, so I’m really happy with this win," he said before the podium ceremony.

"The last days of the Tour de France were really disappointing for me. This is a good way to fight back and I think I showed that I have good form and that I can look forward to the Olympics. It’s really nice to win a big classic like this, which is my first WorldTour classic victory. It’s a really nice race and I’ve always wanted to be on the podium at this race and get one of those Basque hats – and now, finally, I have one."

A tactically astute race

Mollema rode a tactically astute race, letting the Movistar, Orica-BikeExchange and Katusha teams do the work early in the race before making his home and showing his hand on the steepest section of the new Murgil Tontorra climb close to the finish. While his rival hesitated with their chase, he pushed a huge gear and turned the ride to the finish into a victorious time trial.

Before the thrilling finale of the 220km race, the climbs of the more famous Jaizkibel and Arkale did little to split the peloton, with some riders going out of the back but even Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) was able to return to the bunch after only losing contact briefly.

The early break of six riders included Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Drapac), Mario Costa (Lampre-Merida), Pirmin Lang (IAM Cycling), Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Jamie Roson (Cajal Rural) and Loic Chetout (Cofidis). They lead over the first climb of the Jaizkibel and the Arkale and were only swept up the second climb of the Jaizkibel, when a brief counter-attack by Dario Cataldo (Astana) and Mikel Landa (Team Sky) worried the other big-name contenders. However the fast climb and fast descent saw the race comeback together and the aggression eased instead of heating up.

Mollema’s big move

The Cannondale-Drapac team took the race by its horns on the Arkale with 30km to go and again on the rolling descent but their rivals were happy to let them do a vital piece of the work before the final shake out. Movistar returned to control the race on the ride back to San Sebastian, stopping any real attacks. Tour de France fatigue was evident.

Things got serious and the race awoke after the passage through the finish in central San Sebastian with 20km to go. Luke Durbridge did a massive turn for Orica and lined out the peloton to the approach of the Murgil Tontorra. His teammates then took over and set up Adam and Simon Yates for the climb. However others took advantage when they faltered. First Purito Rodriguez distanced the British riders and then Mollema dragged Valverde and Gallopin across the gap just as the 20% of the climb kicked in. The whole race was decided in the steep few hundred metres of the climb.

Mollema’s move was enough to spark a selection over the top of the climb with the chasers and the rest of the peloton unable to close the gap on the fast descent and run-in to San Sebastian.

Mollema committed everything he had to try to win solo, while his chasers and especially Valverde rode cautiously, perhaps thinking they would catch on the flatter roads in the city. However the Dutchman got out of sight in the city streets and kept a ten second lead.

It was enough to give him a moment to ease up before the finish and cross the line with his arm in the air. After a series of placing in the Clasica, Mollema final won his Basque beret. He also wiped away at least of part of his Tour de France disappointment and confirmed he will be a dangerous rider in next Saturday’s Olympic road race.


Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo5:31:00 
2Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal0:00:17 
3Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team  
4Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha0:00:22 
5Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:00:34 
6Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step  
7Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange  
8Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac  
9Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky  
10Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling0:00:37 
11Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ0:00:50 
12Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step  
13Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
14Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
15George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
16Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange  
17Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
18Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek-Segafredo  
19Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team  
20Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
21Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
22Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff Team  
23Jarlinson Pantano Gomez (Col) IAM Cycling  
24Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team Sky  
25Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac0:00:54 
26Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step0:01:02 
27Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data  
28Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step  
29Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
30Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team0:01:17 
31Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:01:26 
32Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
33Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
34Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Team Katusha0:01:28 
35Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step  
36Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling0:01:29 
37Cyrille Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
38Oliver Naesen (Bel) IAM Cycling0:01:54 
39Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff Team  
40Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data  
41Laurens De Plus (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step  
42Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team  
43Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida0:02:36 
44Simone Petilli (Ita) Lampre - Merida  
45Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky  
46Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
47Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
48Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ  
49Oliver Zaugg (Swi) IAM Cycling  
50Egor Silin (Rus) Team Katusha  
51Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
52Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
53Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
54Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin  
55Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha  
56Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
57Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac  
58Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:03:48 
59Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac  
60Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
61Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac  
62Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
63Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Dimension Data  
64Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
65Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
66David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step  
67Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Team Sky  
68Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
69Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-BikeExchange  
70Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-BikeExchange  
71Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:13 
72Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha0:05:24 
73Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team  
74Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale  
75Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
76Clement Chevrier (Fra) IAM Cycling  
77Ilia Koshevoy (Blr) Lampre - Merida  
78Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Team Katusha  
79Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
80Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha  
81Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team0:06:15 
82Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team  
83Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - Merida0:06:49 
84Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step  
85Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre - Merida  
86Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac  
87Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:09:57 
88David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
89Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team  
90Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
91Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac  
92Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange0:10:02 
93Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-BikeExchange  
94Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data0:13:26 
95Amets Txurruka (Spa) Orica-BikeExchange  
96Jaime Roson Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
97Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
98Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
99Yury Trofimov (Rus) Tinkoff Team  
100Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) Dimension Data  
101Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa) Dimension Data  
102Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff Team  
103Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky  
104Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ  
105Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Tinkoff Team  
106Luka Pibernik (Slo) Lampre - Merida  
107Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky  
108Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
109Luis Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
110Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Trek-Segafredo  
111Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek-Segafredo  
112Jacques Willem Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data  
113David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team Sky  
DNFChristian Meier (Can) Orica-BikeExchange  
DNFOscar Gatto (Ita) Tinkoff Team  
DNFSergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff Team  
DNFEvgeny Petrov (Rus) Tinkoff Team  
DNFImanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFRory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar Team  
DNFPeter Velits (Svk) BMC Racing Team  
DNFXabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Team Sky  
DNFJhonatan Restrepo (Col) Team Katusha  
DNFArthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ  
DNFAlexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ  
DNFMatthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ  
DNFBenoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ  
DNFMurilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ  
DNFDavide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFEros Capecchi (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFSteven Lammertink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
DNFPaul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
DNFMario Jorge Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida  
DNFPrzemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - Merida  
DNFStijn Devolder (Bel) Trek-Segafredo  
DNFFumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek-Segafredo  
DNFMarco Coledan (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
DNFJohannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin  
DNFChad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin  
DNFSindre Skjoestad Lunke (Nor) Team Giant-Alpecin  
DNFLaurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin  
DNFZico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin  
DNFAlan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac  
DNFTiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFSean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFPim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal  
DNFTosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFLouis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFGuillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFBiel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFPirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling  
DNFAleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling  
DNFSongezo Jim (RSA) Dimension Data  
DNFCarlos Barbero Cuesta (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
DNFYoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFLoïc Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFArnold Jeannesson (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFAnthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNSLieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team  

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