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Luis Leon Sanchez claims second career San Sebastian victory

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After a perfectly timed attack late in the race, Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) has a moment to savor his San Sebastian victory.

After a perfectly timed attack late in the race, Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) has a moment to savor his San Sebastian victory. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2012 San Sebastian victor Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) won with a late-race attack.

2012 San Sebastian victor Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) won with a late-race attack. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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2012 San Sebastian champion Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank)

2012 San Sebastian champion Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) bounced back from a disappointing Olympics to win San Sebastian for the second time in three years.

Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) bounced back from a disappointing Olympics to win San Sebastian for the second time in three years. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) has won the 2012 San Sebastian with a late-race solo attack.

Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) has won the 2012 San Sebastian with a late-race solo attack. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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2012 Olympic gold medallist Alexander Vinokourov ahead of his last ever race in San Sebastian

2012 Olympic gold medallist Alexander Vinokourov ahead of his last ever race in San Sebastian (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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The Astana riders line up in San Sebastian

The Astana riders line up in San Sebastian (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Astana on their way to the start

Astana on their way to the start (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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BMC line up before the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian

BMC line up before the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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There were several breakaways throughout the day

There were several breakaways throughout the day (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Alejandro Valverde was looking for his second win at the Clasica de San Sebastian

Alejandro Valverde was looking for his second win at the Clasica de San Sebastian (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Garmin-Sharp

Garmin-Sharp (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Orica-GreenEdge

Orica-GreenEdge (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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by Guoqiang SongTour of Hainan

by Guoqiang SongTour of Hainan (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) gives a pre-race interview

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) gives a pre-race interview (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Rigoberto Uran (Sky) in action at the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian

Rigoberto Uran (Sky) in action at the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)

Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Spanish stars Samuel Sanchez and Alejandro Valverde before the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian

Spanish stars Samuel Sanchez and Alejandro Valverde before the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean greeted fans and riders in San Sebastian

Stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean greeted fans and riders in San Sebastian (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Michael Rogers (Sky) leads the chasing pack at the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian

Michael Rogers (Sky) leads the chasing pack at the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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The pelton snakes towards the finish at the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian

The pelton snakes towards the finish at the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) gives a pre-race interview

Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) gives a pre-race interview (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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From left: Simon Gerrans, Luis Leon Sanchez and Gianni Meersman on the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian podium

From left: Simon Gerrans, Luis Leon Sanchez and Gianni Meersman on the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian podium (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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The main peloton crosses the line at the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian

The main peloton crosses the line at the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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The moment of victory for Luis Leon Sanchez

The moment of victory for Luis Leon Sanchez (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) secured his seventh win of 2012 at the Clasica de San Sebastian

Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) secured his seventh win of 2012 at the Clasica de San Sebastian (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Clasica de San Sebastian winner Luis Leon Sanchez is interviewed after the race

Clasica de San Sebastian winner Luis Leon Sanchez is interviewed after the race (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) and Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) at the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian

Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) and Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) at the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Miguel Indurain and Marino Lejarreta await the finish at the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian

Miguel Indurain and Marino Lejarreta await the finish at the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Victory was Luis Leon Sanchez's second at San Sebastian in three years

Victory was Luis Leon Sanchez's second at San Sebastian in three years (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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Luis Leon Sanchez is congratulated by runner-up Simon Gerrans at the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian

Luis Leon Sanchez is congratulated by runner-up Simon Gerrans at the 2012 Clasica de San Sebastian (Image credit: Susanne Goetze)
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For the second time in his career, Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) has won in San Sebastian.

For the second time in his career, Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) has won in San Sebastian. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The San Sebastian peloton ascends the Alto de Jaizkibel.

The San Sebastian peloton ascends the Alto de Jaizkibel. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The San Sebastian peloton makes its way up the Alto de Jaizkibel climb.

The San Sebastian peloton makes its way up the Alto de Jaizkibel climb. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Stunning scenery on the Alto de Jaizkibel climb.

Stunning scenery on the Alto de Jaizkibel climb. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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2011 Vuelta a Espana champion Juan Jose Cobo (Movistar)

2011 Vuelta a Espana champion Juan Jose Cobo (Movistar) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The peloton in action during the 2012 Clasica San Sebastian.

The peloton in action during the 2012 Clasica San Sebastian. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Olympic champion Alexandr Vinokourov (Astana) is introduced prior to the start.

Olympic champion Alexandr Vinokourov (Astana) is introduced prior to the start. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD)

Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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German champion Fabian Wegmann (Garmin-Sharp)

German champion Fabian Wegmann (Garmin-Sharp) (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Recently crowned Olympic road champion Alexandr Vinokourov (Astana) has a special jersey to commemorate his win.

Recently crowned Olympic road champion Alexandr Vinokourov (Astana) has a special jersey to commemorate his win. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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After competing in the omnium at the London Olympics, Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) returns to road racing at San Sebastian.

After competing in the omnium at the London Olympics, Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) returns to road racing at San Sebastian. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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The San Sebastian peloton rolls along early in the race.

The San Sebastian peloton rolls along early in the race. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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2012 Olympic road champion Alexandr Vinokourov (Astana) shows off his new jersey and bike.

2012 Olympic road champion Alexandr Vinokourov (Astana) shows off his new jersey and bike. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Olympic road champion Alexandr Vinokourov (Astana) has a gold bike and custom jersey to commemorate his victory in London.

Olympic road champion Alexandr Vinokourov (Astana) has a gold bike and custom jersey to commemorate his victory in London. (Image credit: Sirotti)
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Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) celebrates his solo victory in the 2012 Clasica San Sebastian

Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) celebrates his solo victory in the 2012 Clasica San Sebastian (Image credit: Sirotti)

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

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

Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rabobank Cycling Team17:46:56
2Garmin - Sharp0:00:07
3Katusha Team
4Team Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank
5SKY Procycling
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 - Quickstep
16Caja Rural0:25:34
17Andalucia0:48:19

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