Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian 2016

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2016 Clasica San Sebastian overview

The Clasica San Sebastian bridges the gap between the Tour de France and the start of the summer racing and second half of the season.

The one-day Spanish race brings together those flying high from the Tour de France and those looking to build towards the Vuelta a Espana. This season brings in another element to consider with the Olympic Road Race just a week later in Rio de Janeiro.

In the past, the race would finish soon after the riders entered the city of San Sebastian. A 15-kilometre loop was, however, added in 2014 to show off the seaside city and keep the suspense of victory holding on for just a little bit longer. The finale of the 2016 race is slightly different to previous editions and includes a steep climb in the last 16kilometres, the Murgil Bidea.

Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) was fighting it out with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in 2014 when he crashed on the descent from the headland, handing a certain victory to the Spaniard. The tables were turned a year later when Yates was battling Greg Van Avermaet when the BMC rider was taken down by a motorbike. Yates would go on to take the victory on that occasion.

Following a superb fourth place at the Tour de France, Yates returns to Spain to defend his title. His two foes from 2014 and 2015 Valverde and Van Avermaet are also back for more after a fruitful three weeks in France. Victory for Valverde in San Sebastian would put him equal with fellow Spaniard Marino Lejarreta as the rider with the most wins, three.

BMC has possibly one of the strongest line-ups with Philippe Gilbert, Samuel Sanchez and Richie Porte also in the mix. Other potential contenders are Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Dan Martin and Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep), Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Simon Clarke (Cannondale-Drapac) and Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal).

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