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Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian 2016

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

 

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

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.   

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. 

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.    

Crash! 

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. 

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. 

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. 

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 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. 

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. 

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.

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

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 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. 

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

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%.

10km to go. 

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

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. 

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. 

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.    

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

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.

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

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.

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. 

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.

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

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

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