Luis Leon Sanchez claims second career San Sebastian victory

Luis León Sánchez (Rabobank) won his second San Sebastian Classic with a daring attack inside the final 10 kilometres. The 2010 winner picked up his seventh win of the year, holding off a chase group of favourites. Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) finished second and Gianni Meersman (Lotto Belisol) third.

Sanchez made his move after the final climb of the race, seizing on a moment of hesitation as two groups merged on the descent Arkale. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Richie Porte (Team Sky) led a counter attack but their aggression was nullified and although Sanchez never had more than a 13 second lead he held on for his second San Sebastian title in three years.

Sanchez has arguably enjoyed his best season to date with a stage win in this year’s Tour de France to add to wins in Paris-Nice and Romandie. Today he showed his class as a rider, tentatively following the attacks on the day’s four climbs before going it alone. His Rabobank teammates attempted to nullify any further moves from the front and left Sanchez with plenty of time to celebrate in front of the Spanish crowd.

The early stages of the race were marked by a flurry of attacks. However it wasn't until the kilometre 35 before any break was successful. The veteran Adrian Palomares joined Javier Aramendia while the bunch were content to wait for the two ascents each over the Jaizikbel and Arkale. The pair established a lead of 12 minutes but Movistar, Sky and Katusha were slowly beginning to lay down their foundations, and by the lower slopes of the Jaizikbel the lead was under a minute. Movistar, eager to lay down a marker before the start of the Vuelta created most of the destruction, dislodging passengers from the peloton until a group of 50 remained.

Palomares and Aramendia were soon reeled in and it was Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Eros Capecchi (Liquigas) who were next with a succession of attacks. Their tactics thinned out the peloton further, although Tomasz Marcynski (Vacansoleil-DCM) was able to join them. They failed to establish a lead but Liquigas weren't done yet and Tiziano Dall'Antonia was their next rider to hear the order to attack through his earpiece.

Again, Marcynski joined the move and the pair created a minute of daylight between themselves and the bunch on the descent of the Arkale. Astana, working for Alexandre Vinokourov, and Lampre, working for Damiano Cunego and to stop Liquigas, formed a chase but as they began the approach to the Jaizkibel for the second and final time, Rigoberto Uran (Sky) surged ahead. Company came briefly from Sergio Paulinho (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) however the former Tour stage winner soon sat up.

The lead group of favourites included Vinokourov, Cunego, Jurgen van den Broeck, Sanchez, Bauke Mollema, Joaquim Rodriguez, Riche Porte and Alejandro Valverde.

On the descent of the Jaizikbel the lead changed again, with Sergio Henao (Team Sky) joining Marczynski, Rafael Valls Ferri, Gorka Izagirre Insausti and Rafal Majka.

Movistar organised the chase behind, pegging the five to 15 seconds before the final climb of the race. Henao, clearly the strongest of the five, accelerated on the climb, dropping the other four as the climbers in the peloton realised that their only chance of a win was evaporating in the Spanish heat.

Rodriguez sent a teammate to the front to wind things up and near the summit the Giro runner up attacked. However he was unable to create any serious gaps, with a number of riders able to mark him on the slopes.

The Katusha leader’s attack did bring Henao back and on the descent to San Sebastian there was a reforming as two groups of riders merged on the wide run-in. Sanchez immediately saw his chance, whipping through the gears and away from the field. Porte counter attacked but he was caught by Rodriguez and Mollema. With Rabobank blocking and Sanchez strong enough to maintain his advantage all the way to the line.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team5:55:34
2Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team0:00:07
3Gianni Meersman (Bel) Lotto Belisol TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Garmin - SharpRow 3 - Cell 2
5Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 4 - Cell 2
6Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Mads Christensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank - Tinkoff BankRow 6 - Cell 2
8Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 8 - Cell 2
10Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 9 - Cell 2
11Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 10 - Cell 2
12Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin - SharpRow 11 - Cell 2
13Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 12 - Cell 2
14Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-NissanRow 13 - Cell 2
15Rafal Majka (Pol) Team Saxo Bank - Tinkoff BankRow 14 - Cell 2
16Nicholas Roche (Irl) AG2R La MondialeRow 15 - Cell 2
17Daniele Ratto (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 16 - Cell 2
18Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin - SharpRow 17 - Cell 2
19Rafaél Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky ProcyclingRow 19 - Cell 2
21Jesús Hernández (Spa) Team Saxo Bank - Tinkoff BankRow 20 - Cell 2
22Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky ProcyclingRow 21 - Cell 2
23Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Richie Porte (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 23 - Cell 2
25Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 24 - Cell 2
26Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Nissan0:00:11
29Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team0:00:25
30Cristiano Salerno (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:00:35
31Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel - Euskadi0:03:42
32Rémi Pauriol (Fra) FDJ-Big MatRow 31 - Cell 2
33Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 32 - Cell 2
34Andre Fernando S. Martins Cardoso (Por) Caja RuralRow 33 - Cell 2
35Alexandr Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Ivan Velasco Murillo (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 35 - Cell 2
37Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 37 - Cell 2
39Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - ISDRow 38 - Cell 2
40Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 39 - Cell 2
41Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
42Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 42 - Cell 2
44Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo Bank - Tinkoff BankRow 43 - Cell 2
45Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 44 - Cell 2
46Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa) Lotto Belisol Team0:04:52
47Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 46 - Cell 2
48Hernani Broco (Por) Caja RuralRow 47 - Cell 2
49Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
50Xabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Sky ProcyclingRow 49 - Cell 2
51Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 50 - Cell 2
52Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Belisol TeamRow 51 - Cell 2
53Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Dario Cataldo (Ita) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 53 - Cell 2
55Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Bruno Pires (Por) Team Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank0:06:08
58Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Lampre - ISD0:08:10
59Tiziano Dall'antonia (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 58 - Cell 2
60Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:09:58
61Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 60 - Cell 2
62Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ-Big MatRow 61 - Cell 2
63Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Euskaltel - EuskadiRow 62 - Cell 2
64Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing TeamRow 63 - Cell 2
65Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66Javier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team0:11:16
67Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Movistar TeamRow 66 - Cell 2
68Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar Team0:12:40
69Björn Leukemans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:14:05
70Christian Meier (Can) Orica GreenEdge Cycling TeamRow 69 - Cell 2
71José Vicente Toribio (Spa) AndaluciaRow 70 - Cell 2
72Serge Pauwels (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickstepRow 71 - Cell 2
73Volodymir Gustov (Ukr) Team Saxo Bank - Tinkoff BankRow 72 - Cell 2
74Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 73 - Cell 2
75Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 74 - Cell 2
76Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 75 - Cell 2
77Alexsandr Dyachenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 76 - Cell 2
78Adrián Palomares (Spa) Andalucia0:17:14
79Pablo Lechuga Rodriguez (Spa) AndaluciaRow 78 - Cell 2
80Javier Francisco Aramendia Lorente (Spa) Caja RuralRow 79 - Cell 2
81Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 80 - Cell 2
82Marcos Garcia (Spa) Caja RuralRow 81 - Cell 2
83Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Col) Movistar TeamRow 82 - Cell 2
84Jesús Rosendo (Spa) AndaluciaRow 83 - Cell 2
85Antonio Cabello Baena (Spa) Andalucia0:17:28
86Javier Chacon (Spa) AndaluciaRow 85 - Cell 2
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Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rabobank Cycling Team17:46:56
2Garmin - Sharp0:00:07
3Katusha TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Team Saxo Bank - Tinkoff BankRow 3 - Cell 2
5SKY ProcyclingRow 4 - Cell 2
6Orica Greenedge0:03:42
7Liquigas - Cannondale0:04:10
8Lotto Belisol Team0:05:10
9Euskaltel - Euskadi0:07:17
10Vacansoleil - DCM Pro Cycling Team0:09:37
11BMC Racing Team0:09:58
12Lampre - ISD0:11:45
13Astana Pro Team0:18:18
14Movistar Team0:22:25
15Omega Pharma - QuickstepRow 14 - Cell 2
16Caja Rural0:25:34
17Andalucia0:48:19

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