Finishing loop added to Clásica San Sebastián

This year's Clásica San Sebastián will feature a 15-kilometre finishing loop around the city, according to Basque newspaper Diario Vasco.

Race organisers, Organizaciones Ciclistas Euskadi have added the ride through the streets to give the city more air-time on television and bring in tourists, but say that it will only come if the race is exciting.

"If a race is boring by many city you want to sell do not sell anything. You have to get it colorful, attractive and spectacular. From there I can sell and I can focus on the sights of San Sebastian," said local broadcaster Fernando Lopetegi.

The route will follow the same path as last year, bringing the riders out to the west of San Sebastián. They will loop around and return to San Sebastián from the east. However, instead of finishing almost immediately afterwards, the riders will be taken on a tour of the city’s sights.

This new finishing loop with bring the riders down the sea-front and, as they leave the beach, they will be taken up towards the Hotel San Sebastián. After the wider roads along the promenade, it will be a tight squeeze up here making it easier for a small group of riders to maintain a gap on the main peloton.

The climb along the Paseo del Faro starts of gently enough, but there are four hairpin bends to negotiate before the tackle the almost 20 percent gradients at the top. There will be little time to admire the view over the bay as they come back off the headland and back into the city. There are still some tight turns to catch out the riders before they finish on the east side of the beach as before.

Traditionally, the final selection has been on the Jaizkibel, just under 40 kilometres from the finish. However, the addition of this climb so close to the finish could change the complexion of the race.

Tony Gallopin won last year's race, ahead of Alejandro Valverde. The Clásica San Sebastián will take place on Saturday 2 August.

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