Simon Yates and former winner Adam Yates bound for Clasica San Sebastian
British brothers lead Mitchelton-Scott at Spanish one-day race
Double Tour de France stage winner Simon Yates and his brother Adam Yates will lead the Mitchelton-Scott team at this weekend's Clásica San Sebastián, the team has announced. Adam won the Spanish one-day race in 2015, but the pair will be up against French Tour star Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), who will start as the defending champion and overwhelming favourite.
Adam Yates' victory four years ago was the then 22-year-old's first WorldTour win, and he crossed the line solo – 15 seconds in front of a group led home by Philippe Gilbert, which also included Alaphilippe and Simon Yates – not knowing that he was first, having believed there was still a breakaway ahead of him.
Since then, Adam has won stages at WorldTour events including the Critérium du Dauphiné, Tirreno-Adriatico and the Volta a Catalunya, while Simon has taken stage victories at all three Grand Tours, and won the Vuelta a España outright in 2018.
"I'm looking forward to returning to San Sebastián," Simon said on his Mitchelton-Scott team's website. "It's a great race, and it's always really hard, and hopefully I'll still have good legs after the Tour.
"You never really know how everybody will be just one week after a Grand Tour, as everybody recovers differently," he added.
"I think it's a race that suits me, and Adam has won it before. I think we've got a good team, with some fresh riders coming in, and some riders coming from the Tour, like me, Adam and Luke Durbridge."
Besides the Yates brothers, Australian Durbridge will be joined by compatriots Lucas Hamilton and Callum Scotson, New Zealander Dion Smith and the USA's Brent Bookwalter, while sports director Laurenzo Lapage believes that the Yateses can be among the frontrunners.
"We all know that Simon won two stages at the Tour, and he's come out of it really well," said Lapage. "Adam has had a good rest now and they are both really motivated, which is important.
"The new climb that comes after the Jaizkibel is a really hard one, so we'll need to get over that climb with numbers. If we have numbers there, then we can drop Adam and Simon into a good position for that last climb, and we have a strong team to do that.
"We have guys like Durbridge, who was climbing really well at the end of the Tour, and then Hamilton, Bookwalter and Smith, who are all really strong guys to protect the Yateses, as well as Scotson, who can look out for them and help them when they need it.
"The guys are all really motivated," added Lapage. "We'll do a recon of the climbs, and then it's up to the legs for that final climb.
"On paper, we have a really good team, and I think we have a really good chance," he said.
The hilly 227km race takes place on Saturday, and also features 2016 winner Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and defending champion Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), who will likely start as the overwhelming favourite on the back of his two stage wins and 14 days in the yellow jersey at the recent Tour de France.
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