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Adam Yates takes solo win at Clásica San Sebastián

Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) took the biggest win of his young career at the Clásica San Sebastian on Saturday, with victory coming as a huge surprise after the 22-year-old British rider believed a breakaway had finished ahead of him.

Yates only realised he had won after he passed the finish line and saw his soigneur celebrating. He only then started to celebrate his win but still needed convincing after the race.

“I didn’t know I’d won. I spoke to my directeur sportif but the radio was too quiet to hear him. I honestly thought there was a break up the road,” Yates explained briefly before crowned the winner on the podium. “I didn’t know what had exactly happened up front in the finale. I just went full gas and so I won but at the time I had no idea.”

A problem with the plane that helps transit live television images was the cause for confusion with teams and commentators forced to follow the action by official race radio. Yates attacked on the final climb of the 219km Clásica, the steep Bordako Tontorra that summited just seven kilometres from the finish line.

He blasted past the remains of a late attack that included Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) and passed Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), who was apparently hit by a race motorbike after attacking first. The Belgian later vented his anger via Twitter but failed to finish the race after breaking his bike.

Yates did not hesitate despite the confusion and surged on, blasting between the walls of shouting Basque cycling fans. He started the descent with a handful of seconds on the chasers and kept going.

Last year, Adam Yates was in the select front group but crashed on the twisting descent. This time he had no problem and used his evident Tour de France form to dive down the descent and power to the finish.

Behind, big favourites Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) joined the group of chasers but they failed to work together, helping Yates stay away.

They sat up on the descent and then refused to work smoothly on the final flat kilometres into San Sebastian, allowing Yates to open his lead to 15 seconds.

In the final kilometre, Yates tried desperately to obtain info from his Orica-GreenEdge team car but the crowd drowned out any updates during one of the best moments of his young career.

How it happened

Before the hectic, confused finale, the Clásica San Sebastian followed its traditional pattern with the early break of eight riders surviving the two climbs of the Jaizkibel.

The eight were Manuel Boaro (Tinkoff-Saxo), Valerio Agnoli (Astana), Dennis Vannendert (Lotto Soudal), Nathan Haas (Cannondale-Garmin), Maarten Wynants (LottoNL-Jumbo), Thomas Degand (IAM Cycling), Lluis Mas (Caja Rural) and Romain Hardy (Cofidis) but the peloton never let them gain more than three-minutes, with the Movistar team doing a lot of work on the front to keep them in check.

The second climb of the Jaizkibel saw the break explode after Boaro attacked alone. He got a gap but faced a long, lone battle in pursuit of victory. Several groups attacked from the peloton on the Jaizkibel and that helped a 16-rider group form later over the top of the Alto Arkale climb with 30km to go. Gilbert was convinced the move was the right attack and worked hard to make it stay away. Hesjedal was also in the move as the Movistar and Katusha lead peloton waited for the late and decisive Bordako Tontorra climb.

Behind, Valverde and the others hesitated and missed their chance, perhaps convinced that Yates would not make it to the finish on his own. They must have forgotten how strong the young British rider was in the Tour de France and his performance in last year’s race. It was a huge mistake to let Yates go and he finished off a perfect attack, even if he did not know he had won.  

Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge5:30:22
2Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing0:00:15
3Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
4Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha
5Joaquim Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha
6Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
7Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
8Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step
9Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin
10Rigoberto Urán (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step
11Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
12Nelson Oliveira (Por) Lampre-Merida
13Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo
14Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge
15Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
16Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky
17Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:20
18Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing0:00:24
19Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
20Thibaut Pinot (Fra)
21Luis León Sánchez Gil (Spa) Astana Pro Team
22Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:28
23Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ.fr0:00:37
24Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:00:42
25Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:54
26Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:57
27Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
28Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
29Andre Fernando S Martins Cardoso (Por) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
30Nathan Earle (Aus) Team Sky
31Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
32Sebastian Henao Gomez (Col) Team Sky
33Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing
34Pierre-Henri Lecuisinier (Fra)
35Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Sky
36Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
37David Tanner (Aus) IAM Cycling
38Zdenek _tybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step
39Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdge
40Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
41Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling
42David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
43Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek Factory Racing
44Winner Anacona Gomez (Col) Movistar Team
45Egor Silin (Rus) Team Katusha
46Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling0:02:29
47Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff-Saxo
48Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
49Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Team Sky
50Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
51Julien Vermote (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
52Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida
53Amets Txurruka (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:03:03
54Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:37
55Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling0:03:46
56Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin0:03:53
57Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek Factory Racing
58Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling
59Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
60Benoït Vaugrenard (Fra)
61Luis Angel Maté Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
62Rein Taaramäe (Est) Astana Pro Team
63Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Team Katusha
64Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo0:04:03
65Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team
66Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
67Jose Rodolfo Serpa Perez (Col) Lampre-Merida
68Stijn Devolder (Bel) Trek Factory Racing0:04:47
69Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo0:04:50
70Matteo Montaguti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:01
71Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling
72Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing
73Julián Arredondo (Col) Trek Factory Racing
74Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha0:05:58
75Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:06:18
76Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge
77Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale
78Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Team Katusha0:06:53
79Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team0:06:54
80Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
81Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
82Simon _pilak (Slo) Team Katusha
83Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team0:07:10
84Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:07:37
85Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha
86Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing0:08:12
87Matteo Trentin (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
88Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Tinkoff-Saxo
89Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Alpecin0:09:12
90Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team0:12:01
91Miguel Ángel Benito Diez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:12:08
92Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
93Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
94Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:14:40
95Rui Alberto Faria da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida0:15:06
96Miguel Ángel López (Col) Astana Pro Team
DNFRuben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFJesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFJavier Moreno Bazan (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFRory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar Team
DNFChristopher Sutton (Aus) Team Sky
DNFDanny Pate (USA) Team Sky
DNFStijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNFMartin Velits (Svk) Etixx - Quick-Step
DNFMatteo Tosatto (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo
DNFPavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff-Saxo
DNFOliver Zaugg (Swi) Tinkoff-Saxo
DNFValerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team
DNFAlessandro Vanotti (Ita) Astana Pro Team
DNFRick Zabel (Ger) BMC Racing Team
DNFGreg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
DNFLoic Vliegen (Bel) BMC Racing Team
DNFSam Bewley (NZl) Orica GreenEdge
DNFLuke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
DNFMichael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdge
DNFJan Polanc (Slo) Lampre-Merida
DNFMario Jorge Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida
DNFIlia Koshevoy (Blr) Lampre-Merida
DNFLuka Pibernik (Slo) Lampre-Merida
DNFMikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFAlexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFBiel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFMickael Delage (Fra)
DNFKévin Reza (Fra)
DNFArthur Vichot (Fra)
DNFJérémy Roy (Fra)
DNFPim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal
DNFStig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFSean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFTosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFLaurent Didier (Lux) Trek Factory Racing
DNFJasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek Factory Racing
DNFKoen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFThierry Hupond (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFFredrik Ludvigsson (Swe) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFLars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFZico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFKristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
DNFRamunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
DNFThomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFNick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFJos Van Emden (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFMaarten Tjallingii (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
DNFThomas Degand (Bel) IAM Cycling
DNFJarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling
DNFCarlos Barbero Cuesta (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFOmar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFLuis Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFDaniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFYohan Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team5pts
2Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits3
3Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo3
4Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team3
5Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal3
6Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing2
7Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA2
8Thomas Degand (Bel) IAM Cycling2
9Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin1

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team30pts
2Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal16
3Manuele Boaro (Ita) Tinkoff-Saxo14
4Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Astana Pro Team13
5Thomas Degand (Bel) IAM Cycling10
6Lluís Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA9
7Romain Hardy (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits8
8Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge6
9Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits6
10Maarten Wynants (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo6
11Joaquim Rodríguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha4
12Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team4
13Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team2
14Egor Silin (Rus) Team Katusha2
15Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin1
16Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo1

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Astana Pro Team16:32:00
2Orica GreenEDGE0:01:18
3Katusha Team0:01:33
4Etixx - Quick Step
5BMC Racing Team0:01:42
6Equipe Cycliste FDJ.fr0:02:04
7Team Cannondale - Garmin0:03:15
8Team Sky
9Lotto Soudal0:03:24
10Cofidis Solutions Crédits0:03:54
11Ag2r La Mondiale0:04:55
12Trek Factory Racing0:05:11
13IAM Cycling0:05:29
14Tinkoff - Saxo0:05:53
15Lampre - Merida
16Caja Rural - Seguros RGA0:06:03
17Movistar Team0:08:12
18Team Lotto NL - Jumbo0:08:35
19Team Giant - Alpecin0:12:26

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