The Deceuninck-QuickStep team have confirmed that Julian Alaphilippe will be back in action at the Clasica San Sesbatian on Saturday, looking to continue his run of incredible success and repeat his victory of a year ago. Also in the Deceuninck-QuickStep line-up are Enric Mas and 19-year-old Remco Evenepoel.
Alaphilippe was the French hero of the Tour de France as he fought to hold onto the yellow jersey; he led the Tour de France for 14 days only to lose yellow to Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) in the Alps on the dramatic shortened stage to Tignes. He eventually finished fifth overall but was awarded the Super Combatif prize for his aggressive racing and so got to stand on the final podium in Paris.
Alaphilippe has opted to miss the lucrative post-Tour de France criteriums in Belgium and the Netherlands this week but is expected to ride the Ronde d'Aix criterium in the south of France on Thursday before travelling to San Sebastian. He is then expected to take a break before riding the Deutschland Tour in Germany in late August.
Also on the entry list for the Clasica San Sebastian are Greg van Avermaet (CCC Team), Mikel Landa and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Michael Woods (EF Education First), Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) and George Bennett (Jumbo-Visma).
Tour de France winner Egan Bernal was reported to be on the entry list for Team Ineos. However he rode two criteriums in Belgium on Monday and Tuesday and is likely to soon head home to Colombia as the South American country celebrates its first Tour de France victory.
Veteran Basque rider Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo) will end his career on home roads at the Clasica San Sebastian after 16 years as a professional.
This year also sees the first edition of the women's Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa, also on Saturday, with Annemiek van Vleuten leading Mitchelton-Scott and wearing number 1.
The men's 229km race route for the 39th edition of the Clasica San Sebastian includes seven categorised climbs, including the Jaizkibel (8.3km, 5.3%), which always make a key selection. With 70 kilometres to go, the riders will take on the Erlaitz, a 3.8km-long ascent averaging 10.6%, that will further whittle down the bunch, while Mendizorrotz could give the cue for some other moves from the field.
The brutal Murgil Tontorra (1.8km at 11.5%), comes just 10km from the finish and is expected to spark the last attacks before the finish on the stunning San Sebastian sea front.
The 127km women's race also climbs the Jaizkibel and Murgil Tontorra just before the finish.
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