Kwiatkowski wins Clasica San Sebastian

Pole beats Gallopin and Mollema in sprint

Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski sprinted to victory in Saturday's Clasica San Sebastian, proving quickest to the line out of a select group of late escapees in the hilly one-day race. Lotto Soudal's Tony Gallopin was second across the line for runner-up honours, with last year's winner Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) rounding out the podium in third.

Kwiatkowski's teammate Mikel Landa forced a crucial selection going over the short but steep final climb, attacking and pulling Gallopin and Mollema with him to form a select trio in the closing kilometres. Kwiatkowski joined up with Sunweb's Tom Dumoulin to bridge across to the group, setting up a five-rider battle in San Sebastian.

A late surge by Landa allowed Kwiatkowski to follow the wheels of his rivals into the final kilometre, paving the way for a sprint as the quintet regrouped. Kwiatkowski won convincingly, taking his third WorldTour one-day race victory of the season after winning Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo in the spring.

"Such amazing Basque Spanish guys in the team today," Kwiatkowski said after the finish, acknowledging not only Landa, but also Mikel Nieve, who fired off an attack with around nine kilometres to go just after a solo move by teammate Gianni Moscon was reeled in.

"They were supporting me so well and I'm very thankful to the team. You could see Mikel Landa playing his crucial role in the end, and I could go for the sprint easily. I'm very thankful to Mikel that he waited in the group in the front. Today was just amazing, the team spirit, we believed that we could win the race."

How it unfolded

The lumpy 231km race kicked off under clear conditions in San Sebastian, with a seven-rider escape going clear early. Loïc Chetout and Matthias Le Turnier (Cofidis), Sven Erik Bystrom (Katusha-Alpecin), Jon Insausti (Bahran-Merida), Mickaël Delage (FDJ), Imanol Erviti (Movistar) and Christophe Pfingsten (Bora-Hansgrohe) formed the main break of the day.

As the riders scaled the Meaga, Iturburu and Alkiza climbs, the pack allowed the break to push the gap up to a maximum of five minutes before it stabilised at around four and a half minutes. The advantage remained there or thereabouts through the midway point of the race before it began to fall rapidly on the first of two circuits taking on the Jaizkibel and Arkale climbs.

The gap was down around two minutes with 70 kilometres to go, spurring Erviti to solo away. Before long, his six former breakaway companions were swept up. The Spaniard made it up and over the second ascent of the Jaizkibel but was reeled in before the second passage of the Arkale climb.

The short but challenging Arkale saw splits opening in the peloton, and Moscon found himself well-placed in a small group off the front with around 25 kilometres to go. He seized the opportunity to solo clear, jumping out to an advantage of half a minute before the pack gradually pulled him back, making the catch with 10 kilometres to race.

Sky did not let up, with Nieve jumping away almost immediately. He too was brought back as the Iturba loomed.

The steep ascent quickly strung out the peloton, opening the door for Landa to shoot off the front. Only Gallopin and Mollema could follow. The trio opened a gap going over the top with Kwiatkowski and Dumoulin coming together in pursuit as the likes of Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing), Simon Yates (Orica-Scott), Warren Barguil (Team Sunweb) and Rigoberto Urán (Cannondale-Drapac) found themselves distanced in a larger group of around 20 riders.

With his fast-finishing teammate attempting to bridge, Landa eased off the throttle in the lead trio, and three became five with around five kilometres left to chase.

The five leaders raced into San Sebastian more or less together before Landa put in his final dig, drawing out a response from Dumoulin but opening a gap to the other three. Mollema took up the job of closing down the move, allowing Kwiatkowski to sit at the back.

The 27-year-old Pole pulled into position for a sprint as the reorganised quintet hit the final kilometre. He quickly surged away in the final kick with Gallopin and Mollema settling for podium spots.

"It was a perfect day. We took control from the beginning, we took the responsibility of chasing the breakaway. We believed from before the start that we could win today. It's really nice race. I don't have really good experience from the past from San Sebastian but it's always a pleasure to race here," Kwiatkowski said.

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky5:52:53 
2Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal  
3Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo  
4Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb  
5Mikel Landa (Spa) Team Sky0:00:02 
6Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac0:00:28 
7Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ0:00:38 
8Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team  
9Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
10Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team  
11Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale  
12Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
13Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb  
14Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana Pro Team  
15Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
16Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky  
17Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ  
18Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott  
19Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe  
20Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates  
21Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
22Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky  
23Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac  
24Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:01:21 
25Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team  
26Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors  
27Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data  
28Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
29Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:01:32 
30Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
31Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team  
32George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
33Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:12 
34Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates  
35Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott  
36Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
37Igor Anton (Spa) Dimension Data  
38Jose Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team  
39Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin  
40Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors  
41Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:57 
42Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Bahrain-Merida  
43Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:03:38 
44Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Soudal  
45Hugh Carthy (GBr) Cannondale-Drapac  
46Sergio Pardilla (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
47Clement Chevrier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
48Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team  
49Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:04:48 
50Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team Sunweb  
51Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Drapac  
52Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar Team  
53Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky0:04:53 
54Javier Moreno (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:05:44 
55Ion Insausti (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:06:00 
56Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:06:24 
57Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Quick-Step Floors  
58Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:06:41 
59Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb0:08:21 
60Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
61Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team  
62Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
63Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Orica-Scott0:08:27 
64Mickael Delage (Fra) FDJ  
64Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data0:11:01 
65Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
66Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin  
67Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:11:48 
68Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data  
69Ben King (USA) Dimension Data  
70Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-Merida  
71Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
72Simone Petilli (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
73Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data  
74Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-Scott  
75Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe  
76Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors  
77Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo  
78Artyom Zakharov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
79Carlos Verona (Spa) Orica-Scott  
80Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Sunweb  
81Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:12:23 
82David Arroyo (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:13:19 
83Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
84Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb0:15:34 
85Jaime Roson (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:19:56 
DNFEugenio Alafaci (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
DNFLaurent Didier (Lux) Trek-Segafredo  
DNFFabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
DNFMichael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo  
DNFGiacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo  
DNFCyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFAlexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFQuentin Jauregui (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale  
DNFPello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team  
DNFZhandos Bizhigitov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team  
DNFJesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro Team  
DNFMiguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team  
DNFPaolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team  
DNFYukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-Merida  
DNFLuka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida  
DNFManuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team  
DNFMichael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
DNFFrancisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team  
DNFDanilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team  
DNFLeopold Konig (Cze) Bora-Hansgrohe  
DNFSilvio Herklotz (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe  
DNFJosé Mendes (Por) Bora-Hansgrohe  
DNFChristoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe  
DNFLukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe  
DNFJuraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe  
DNFLuis Mas (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
DNFEduard Prades (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
DNFRafael Reis (Por) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
DNFHector Saez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
DNFNicholas Schultz (Aus) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA  
DNFBrendan Canty (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac  
DNFSimon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac  
DNFAndrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Drapac  
DNFWouter Wippert (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac  
DNFJerome Cousin (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFMathias Leturnier (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFAnthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFJulien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits  
DNFDavide Cimolai (Ita) FDJ  
DNFMatthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ  
DNFCedric Pineau (Fra) FDJ  
DNFLéo Vincent (Fra) FDJ  
DNFSean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFRemy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFTim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal  
DNFHéctor Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFImanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team  
DNFMichael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott  
DNFChristopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-Scott  
DNFSvein Tuft (Can) Orica-Scott  
DNFPhilippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors  
DNFEros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step Floors  
DNFDavid De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors  
DNFJaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data  
DNFOmar Fraile (Spa) Dimension Data  
DNFJenthe Biermans (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin  
DNFViacheslav Kuznetsov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin  
DNFTiago Machado (Por) Katusha-Alpecin  
DNFMarco Mathis (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin  
DNFRein Taaramäe (Est) Katusha-Alpecin  
DNFÁngel Vicioso (Spa) Katusha-Alpecin  
DNFSteven Lammertink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
DNFJuan Jose Lobato (Spa) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
DNFTimo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
DNFBram Tankink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
DNFJurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Team LottoNl-Jumbo  
DNFPhilip Deignan (Irl) Team Sky  
DNFBeñat Intxausti (Spa) Team Sky  
DNFDavid Lopez (Spa) Team Sky  
DNFGeorg Preidler (Aut) Team Sunweb  
DNFZico Waeytens (Bel) Team Sunweb  
DNFMatteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team Emirates  
DNFYousif Mirza Alhammadi (UAE) UAE Team Emirates  

Related Articles

Back to top