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Live coverage

Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian 2016


Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the Clasica San Sebastian.


Clasica sa Sebastian hub page

Race preview

Full start list

Contador back in action at the Clasica San Sebastian

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the biggest one-day Classic in Spain: the Clasica San Sebastian. 

As we join the racing, the peloton of 158 riders have covered 85km of the 220km race route.

The route of the Clasica includes six serious climbs, with the last ending just 8km from the finish.  


The riders have already covered the first climb of the stage and are heading towards the feed zone at the 99km point.


We have an early break of six riders and they lead the peloton by 5:20.




The six are: Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Drapac), Mario Costa (Lampre-Merida), Pirmin Lang (IAM Cycling), Jaques Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Jamie Roson (Cajal Rural) and Loic Chetout (Cofidis). 



Richie Porte (BMC) stopped for a bike change a few minutes ago but is now back in the peloton. Porte is team leader at BMC for the Clasica, along with Greg van Avermaet. 


The Katusha team has done much of the work at the head of the peloton to make sure the break does not gain too much time before the hilly finale.


With 90km covered the gap has fallen to below 5:00. The peloton is starting to close the gap to the six breakaways.


This year's Clasica is a final race for many of the biggest names in the peloton before they fly to Rio for the Olympic.


2015 winner Adam Yates (Orica) will be chasing anther victory before flying south, as will Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Greg Van Avermaet and Richie Porte (BMC), Dan Martin (Etixx) and Bauke Mollema (Trek). 


Also in action is Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) as he makes his return to racing and builds for the Vuelta a Espana after his crashes and abandon at the Tour de France.  


For a full start list, click here. 

RACE UPDATE: After 100km a six-man break has five minutes at San Sebastian. Lots of climbing to come! #klasikoa

@TeamSky Sat, 30th Jul 2016 12:15:25

To get ready for the hilly finale, read our race preview and check out the stage profile by clicking here.


The break and the peloton have grabbed their musettes and are enjoying their lunch.   


AS we await the finale and the major attacks, why not enjoy this long read feature interview with Floyd Landis written by Barry Ryan.

You won't regret it.

Click here to read the full feature.  



Despite the Tour de France ending only a week ago, the racing has resumed with gusto. There is also the RideLondon race in Britain with the women's Classic Saturday evening and then men's road race on Sunday.

Other riders are in action at the Tour of Portugal and the Tour of Denmark.  


Cyclingnews will have coverage of all the races, with live coverage of the women's RideLondon Classic later today and the men's race tomorrow.


#klasikoa We're halfway through the race. The riders just passed the feeding zone. Gap is still around 5' with 110km to go.

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 30th Jul 2016 12:41:55

The riders have covered 110km and so are at the half way point of the race.


#Klasikoa 112km done. @Jacquesjvren, Moser, Costa, Lang, Roson & Chetout have 5'02" on the peloton. We start the 1st of 5 climbs shortly.

@TeamDiData Sat, 30th Jul 2016 12:41:08

The riders will soon hit the Alto de Jaizkibel climb that has always played a part in the Clasica. 


The lower slopes of the Alto de Jaizkibel have helped  the peloton reduce the gap on the six-rider break. It is down to 3:20 now.


The Astana team is leading the chase as the gradient kicks in.


#klasikoa After 119km of racing the gap to the breakaway is down to 3'12". There's plenty of action still to come!

@BMCProTeam Sat, 30th Jul 2016 12:55:10

Astana has two riders on the front of the peloton, followed by three Team Sky riders, who are also keen to control the break of the day.


There's a correction on the six riders in the break, there for Lampre is veteran rider Przemyslaw Niemiec and not Mario da Costa as reported.


The break has crossed the top of the Jaizkibel and is diving down the descent. The gap is down to just 1:40 now.


The break is down to five riders after  Lang (IAM) was dropped.


There also appears to be a chase group forming behind the break, with some interesting riders in it.  


The group of chasers includes Kwaitkowski and van Avermaet but they only 20 seconds on the peloton, that is chasing after them.


We've got @michalkwiatek in a strong chase group at San Sebastián. They're 1'24" down on the break, with the bunch 20 seconds back #klasikoa

@TeamSky Sat, 30th Jul 2016 13:15:39

The peloton is lined out but is about to catch the attack. Only the break remains out front but the race is on now. 


80km left to race. 


The break is only 1:00 now. The race for victory will begin very soon.


The riders are approaching the Arkale climb, with Movistar now setting a high pace. 


Purito Rodriguez (Katusha) dropped back from the peloton due to get some assistance from his teammate but he is quickly back in the bunch.


The break is trying hard to hold off the chasers, with Loic Chetout dropped as the speed stays high.   


#klasikoa The counterattack has been reeled in due to the efforts of Katusha & Trek.

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 30th Jul 2016 13:25:07

Movistar drags the peloton over the Arkale climb, with the gap riding to 1:30 thanks to the break speeding up on the descent.  


Alberto Contador (Katusha) is in the peloton on his return to racing after quitting the Tour de France. 


On withdrawing from the Tour, Contador immediately ruled himself out of consideration for the Spanish team for next week’s Rio 2016 Olympics, preferring instead to build steadily towards the Vuelta.


He is due to ride the Vuelta a Burgos (August 2-6) as part of his preparation. Contador is looking to defend an unbeaten record at the Vuelta, as he holds the distinction of winning the race on each of his three appearances, in 2008, 2012 and 2014.


“I started slowly going on the bike for a spin and although the discomfort was always there and I had a slower rhythm longer than I expected, I haven't been worried about it. I am aware I will lack a bit of pace in San Sebastián and Burgos, which will probably raise my pulse a lot, but I know the best is to think about the Vuelta a España,” Contador said.


“I will tackle these two races with a bit of calm and with a longer-term objective."



To read everything that Contador said about his return, click here.



65km to go.


Rory Sutherland is doing a lot of work for the Movistar team on the front of the peloton.    




Two FDJ riders go down, with Vichot hitting teammate Alexandre Geniez. Vichot's hand went into the spokes of a wheel and seems to be hurting him. 


Still 4 riders left in front: Moser, Niemiec, Roson & Van Rensburg. The Jaizkibel is coming up for the second and last time #klasikoa

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 30th Jul 2016 13:41:07

The Orica team is also massing riders near the front for the Jaizkibel climb. They're riding to protect Adam and Simon  Yates' chances today.


Here we go! Dario Cataldo (Astana) attacks to shake up the main peloton on the Jaizkibel. 


Landa has joined Cataldo as Impey struggled to go across to them. 


Thanks to the attacks and high speed, the race is about to come back together. 


Jaizkibel (7.8 km, 5.8%) is being tackled for the second time in the race. #klasikoa

@Etixx_QuickStep Sat, 30th Jul 2016 13:45:15

However the Landa/Catalida group is growing in number and importance. Also in there is Michael Woods (Cannondale). 


Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) is also in there. He is part of the five-rider Italian team for the Olympic road race.


The Jaizkibel rises in sections, with false flat sections.The two from groups are together but the peloton is chasing at 10 seconds. 


The roads is exposed now as Landa and Cataldo up the pace in the attack.   


There are about 100 riders in the peloton. 


We have a junction of the two groups, which means @delacruz_sbd is among the leaders! #WayToRide #klasikoa

@Etixx_QuickStep Sat, 30th Jul 2016 13:55:06

Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) is to part of the peloton after being dropped on the Jaizkibel  


The attack made it over the top of the Jaizkibel but the peloton is reforming on the fast descent. 


50 km remaining.


The peloton closes the gap to the leaders in the descent of the Jaizkibel. All together with 50km to go. #klasikoa

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 30th Jul 2016 14:05:34

The descent is fast and twisting and quickly takes the riders to the foot of the Arkale climb. There is no respite for the 80-strong peloton now. 


Fortunately the roads are dry today. It is warm but not sunny. 


Riders are using the descent and flat roads to eat some final food and take on some bisons from team cars.  


Several riders have their pockets full of bidons as head back to the peloton.


It is also a last chance for the riders to think about their tactics for the finale. 


The new final climb has forced riders to change their plans. Many of the contenders have been to study the climb of Murgil Tontorra. It is narrow in parts and passes under the trees before some every steep sections near the summit. 


With the summit only 8km away via a fast descent, the climb will be decisive for victory.  


2015 winner Adam Yates (Orica) is at the back of the peloton with his brother Simon and a teammate. He prefers to avoid any stress up front but moves up to the front in key moments.


Movistar is riding hard on the front to deter any attacks before the Arkale. 


With 43km remaining, peloton has regrouped. About 80 riders remain in the bunch with two of six categorised climbs remaining. #klasikoa

@Ride_Argyle Sat, 30th Jul 2016 14:15:38

The riders are enjoying the quiet before the storm at the moment but also trying to move up in the peloton. Positioning will be vital before and on the Arkale climb.


The Arkale is not long but it is steep and should see the race explode. 


Here we go! The riders leave the main road and begin the climb.


Cannondale take control off the race, with two riders on the front. 


It is Davide Vilella riding hard for team leader Rigoberto Uran. He's split the peloton!


Behind Contador is being distanced.


10 riders lead the main group. 


Davide Formolo has taken over on the front. Cannondale is trying to kick off the race early. 


The summit is close now and so we will see who is at the front and still strong.


Some riders are falling out of the back of the peloton on the climb.


31km to race.


Cannondale continues to lead the peloton, with their rivals lined out but sat on the wheels waiting for the final climb of the day. 


26km to go.

After Cannondale end their spell on the front, Movistar takes control again, with five riders on the front. They are clearly riding for Valverde.


Contador is back in the peloton and sitting on the wheels. We will soon how his form really is.  


The peloton is starting to slim down at San Sebastián with 28km to go. @Petekennaugh and @nicholasroche are prominent for @TeamSky #klasikoa

@TeamSky Sat, 30th Jul 2016 14:35:32

The Katusha team also has several riders near the front, riding for Purito and Zakarin.


First Mikel Landa (Team Sky) and now OLiver Zaugg (IAM) drop back to team cars for final bottles before the 'bar closes' with 20km to go. 


Attack! Igor Anton (Dimension Data) kicks off the finale. Here we go!


Anton is joined by Tiralongo (Astana) but other riders come across to them. 


19km to go. 

The riders are about to pass through the finish area and then head to the final climb of the day. 


#klasikoa 20km to go, KAT, BMC and MOV are shutting down all attacks. @lampre_merida har P.Niemiec in the group of the day earlier on.

@MeridaProRoad Sat, 30th Jul 2016 14:45:14

The riders are passing the stunning sandy beaches of San Sebastian but there is no time to enjoy the view. 


Luke Durbrdige leads Orica and the peloton through the finish. 


BMC and Movistar are also trying to up the pace and position their riders for the final climb. 


13km to race. 

The pace is very high now. Positioning is vital as the climb approaches.  


Durbridge is still on the front as the riders tuck behind the wheels and dive through a series of roundabouts.  


#klasikoa OBE lead the bunch with 17km to go @luke_durbridge1 sets the tempo

Here they go! A left turn takes the race onto the climb!


Orica has three riders leading Adam Yates at the front. 


The climb is only 1.8km but has a gradient of 10% with a sector at 20%.


#klasikoa On the final climb now! Let's go boys! #liveyourdream #fightforstig

@Lotto_Soudal Sat, 30th Jul 2016 14:54:41

10km to go. 


Movistar is a little far back, with Valverde isolated. 


The roads is steady so far but will kick up very soon. 


Will Murgil Bidea bring fireworks? #klasikoa

@Etixx_QuickStep Sat, 30th Jul 2016 14:53:05

Impey is leading for Orica now but he is about to blow. 


All the big-name favourites are there and ready to go with attacks. 


Uran goes first and is joined by Adam Yates. Others follow them. 


Now Adam Yates pushes on, upping the speed and making a real selection.


Purito is also there and giving it everything. 


Valverde is 50m behind with a few other riders.


Dan Martin is also there. 


Yates lets Purito go clear, setting his own pace. 


A very select group is forming behind Purito. 


Mollema is dragging the chasers up to Purito. 


Valverde and Lotto rider are with Mollema. The others are suffering on the steepest part of the climb.  


Over the top of the climb we will see if the two groups come back together. 


For now Mollema has surged away alone and is trying to time trial away. Will anyone work to chase him? 


7km to go. 

Behind Purito and Gallopin don't want to do the work for Valverde. The gap is up to 8 seconds.


Mollema is crouched over his bars, giving it big power into the pedals. He's hungry for a win after his heart breaking finale to the Tour de France.


Mollema has extended his lead to 13 seconds as other riders try to get back on on the fast road to the finish.


4km to go! 


Valverde has picked up the chase but Mollema is fighting to stay clear.


3km to go.


The 3 chasers can see Mollema but they still have to catch him. Mollema is not going to give up. He was second here in 2014. He wants this win! 


Mollema is pushing a huge gear as he drives through the streets of San Sebastian. He leads by 11 seconds.


Here he comes! Mollema is on the way to victory. 


He's got a big enough gap! 


He sits up and waves his arms in the air as he crosses the line. 


Gallopin beats Valverde to take second place, with Purito finishing fourth.  


Mollema rightly celebrates with his teammates before heading to podium. 


#klasikoa there is no better way to answer the bad luck he had at the Tour than winning a week later. Impressive @BaukeMollema!

@TrekSegafredo Sat, 30th Jul 2016 15:13:07

It is no doubt a special win for Mollema. Just a week ago he lost any chance of a podium finish in the Tour de France after a crash forced him to chase in the rain.    


#klasikoa Mollema takes the win and @GregVanAvermaet crosses the line in 5th place.

The new climb of Murgil Tontorra proved decisive in the race with the best riders staying together until 10km to go.

Adam Yates kicked off the attacks but was then in trouble and faded as Purito, Mollema and Valverde emerged.

Mollema looked strong on the climb and made his move over the top, bravely going for it alone. The chasers hesitated behind and so he powered on, making it all the way to finish in San Sebastian. 



Greg van Avermaet (BMC) brought the group of chasers home to take fifth place at 34 seconds. 


Also in the group were Adam Yates, Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx), Tom Jelte Slagter (Cannondale) and Nico roche (Team Sky), all at 34 seconds. 


This is the provisional result for this year's Clasica San Sebastian.



1 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 05:31:00
2 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 00:00:05
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
4 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 00:00:22
5 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 00:00:34
6 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
7 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange
8 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
9 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky
10 Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling 00:00:37


Mollema was happy to bounced back from his Tour de France disappointment.  


"I’m really happy to have this win. I felt good all day. In the last years, I was always in the top 10 here. I’ve recovered well from the Tour de France, so I’m really happy with this win," he said before the podium ceremony.


"The last days of the Tour de France were really disappointing for me. This is a good way to fight back and I think I showed that I have good form and that I can look forward to the Olympics."


"It’s really nice to win a big classic like this, which is my first WorldTour classic victory. It’s a really nice race and I’ve always wanted to be on the podium at this race and get one of those Basque hats – and now finally I have one."


#Klasikoa great effort by OBE and @AdamYates7 in San Sebastián today as attacks flew on the final climb #OBErocks

@ORICA_BE Sat, 30th Jul 2016 15:21:19

Mollema will fly to Rio buoyed by his victory in San Sebastian. He is part of a strong dutch tam that includes Wout Poels and Tom Dumoulin and he could a big contender for a medal next Saturday in the tough and hilly road race.  


We stand corrected in the top ten results. It was actually Simon Yates and not Adam who finished seventh today.


That's an impressive result considering he been out of action and did not ride the Tour de France like so many of his rivals.     


Mollema said he wanted to pull on the Basque beret and has finally done after a long series of placings in the Clasica. 



Mollema is joined by Valverde and Gallopin on the podium.


Gallopin won in 2013, while Valverde won the Clasica in 2008 and 2014. 


"I've always wanted one of the those Basque hats."@BaukeMollema wins Clasica San Sebastian #Klasikoa

@TrekSegafredo Sat, 30th Jul 2016 15:39:56

Valverde smiled on the podium with his son joining him for the ceremony but the spaniard is no doubt disappointed to miss out on a third win. He was the fastest in the group of four that formed on the final climb but he failed to control Mollema. 


Thanks for joining us for live coverage from the Clasica San Sebastian.


For a full race report and photo gallery of all the action, click here. 


We will also have news and reaction from the race.



Join us soon for full coverage of the evening women's RideLondon Classique race in central London.  


The race has a huge prize list and has attracted some of the best riders in the sport. 


Join us on Sunday for full live coverage of the men's RideLondon race.  


We'll sign off with a great image of today's winner Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo). 



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