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Mollema wins Clasica San Sebastian

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) took an emotional solo victory at the Clasica San Sebastian after an aggressive solo attack over the new final climb of new Murgil Tontorra just eight kilometres from the finish of the WorldTour race.

The Dutchman opened a gap on the descent and fought off a chase to hit the line alone and celebrate his victory by pointing at his jersey. Behind him Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) beat Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) in the sprint for second, with Purito Rodriguez fourth in his final race in the Basque Country, where he developed as a young amateur rider. They finished a few seconds back, with Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) bringing home other chasers, at 34 seconds.

Just a week ago Mollema was close to tears after losing any chance of finishing on the Tour de France podium due to a crash in the rain on stage to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc. This victory was of significant consolation and showed his determination to bounce back. It will no doubt also boost his moral as he prepares to travel to Rio for the Olympic road race, where he could again be a major threat on the tough route on next Saturday’s road race.

"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."

A tactically astute race

Mollema rode a tactically astute race, letting the Movistar, Orica-BikeExchange and Katusha teams do the work early in the race before making his home and showing his hand on the steepest section of the new Murgil Tontorra climb close to the finish. While his rival hesitated with their chase, he pushed a huge gear and turned the ride to the finish into a victorious time trial.

Before the thrilling finale of the 220km race, the climbs of the more famous Jaizkibel and Arkale did little to split the peloton, with some riders going out of the back but even Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) was able to return to the bunch after only losing contact briefly.

The early break of six riders included Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Drapac), Mario Costa (Lampre-Merida), Pirmin Lang (IAM Cycling), Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (Dimension Data), Jamie Roson (Cajal Rural) and Loic Chetout (Cofidis). They lead over the first climb of the Jaizkibel and the Arkale and were only swept up the second climb of the Jaizkibel, when a brief counter-attack by Dario Cataldo (Astana) and Mikel Landa (Team Sky) worried the other big-name contenders. However the fast climb and fast descent saw the race comeback together and the aggression eased instead of heating up.

Mollema’s big move

The Cannondale-Drapac team took the race by its horns on the Arkale with 30km to go and again on the rolling descent but their rivals were happy to let them do a vital piece of the work before the final shake out. Movistar returned to control the race on the ride back to San Sebastian, stopping any real attacks. Tour de France fatigue was evident.

Things got serious and the race awoke after the passage through the finish in central San Sebastian with 20km to go. Luke Durbridge did a massive turn for Orica and lined out the peloton to the approach of the Murgil Tontorra. His teammates then took over and set up Adam and Simon Yates for the climb. However others took advantage when they faltered. First Purito Rodriguez distanced the British riders and then Mollema dragged Valverde and Gallopin across the gap just as the 20% of the climb kicked in. The whole race was decided in the steep few hundred metres of the climb.

Mollema’s move was enough to spark a selection over the top of the climb with the chasers and the rest of the peloton unable to close the gap on the fast descent and run-in to San Sebastian.

Mollema committed everything he had to try to win solo, while his chasers and especially Valverde rode cautiously, perhaps thinking they would catch on the flatter roads in the city. However the Dutchman got out of sight in the city streets and kept a ten second lead.

It was enough to give him a moment to ease up before the finish and cross the line with his arm in the air. After a series of placing in the Clasica, Mollema final won his Basque beret. He also wiped away at least of part of his Tour de France disappointment and confirmed he will be a dangerous rider in next Saturday’s Olympic road race.


Full Results

#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo5:31:00
2Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal0:00:17
3Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
4Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Team Katusha0:00:22
5Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:00:34
6Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step
7Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange
8Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
9Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky
10Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling0:00:37
11Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ0:00:50
12Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step
13Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
14Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team
15George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
16Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-BikeExchange
17Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Astana Pro Team
18Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
19Jon Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team
20Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
21Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
22Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff Team
23Jarlinson Pantano Gomez (Col) IAM Cycling
24Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team Sky
25Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac0:00:54
26Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step0:01:02
27Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data
28Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step
29Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
30Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team0:01:17
31Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:01:26
32Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
33Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
34Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Team Katusha0:01:28
35Petr Vakoc (Cze) Etixx - Quick-Step
36Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling0:01:29
37Cyrille Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
38Oliver Naesen (Bel) IAM Cycling0:01:54
39Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff Team
40Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Dimension Data
41Laurens De Plus (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step
42Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
43Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre - Merida0:02:36
44Simone Petilli (Ita) Lampre - Merida
45Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky
46Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
47Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
48Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ
49Oliver Zaugg (Swi) IAM Cycling
50Egor Silin (Rus) Team Katusha
51Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team
52Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
53Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
54Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin
55Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Team Katusha
56Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
57Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
58Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:03:48
59Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac
60Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
61Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac
62Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
63Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Dimension Data
64Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
65Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
66David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step
67Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Team Sky
68Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
69Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-BikeExchange
70Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-BikeExchange
71Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:13
72Tiago Machado (Por) Team Katusha0:05:24
73Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team
74Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale
75Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
76Clement Chevrier (Fra) IAM Cycling
77Ilia Koshevoy (Blr) Lampre - Merida
78Angel Vicioso Arcos (Spa) Team Katusha
79Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
80Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha
81Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team0:06:15
82Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Movistar Team
83Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - Merida0:06:49
84Bob Jungels (Lux) Etixx - Quick-Step
85Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre - Merida
86Davide Villella (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
87Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:09:57
88David Arroyo Duran (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
89Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar Team
90Hugh Carthy (GBr) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
91Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
92Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-BikeExchange0:10:02
93Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Orica-BikeExchange
94Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension Data0:13:26
95Amets Txurruka (Spa) Orica-BikeExchange
96Jaime Roson Garcia (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
97Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
98Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
99Yury Trofimov (Rus) Tinkoff Team
100Merhawi Kudus Ghebremedhin (Eri) Dimension Data
101Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa) Dimension Data
102Ivan Rovny (Rus) Tinkoff Team
103Michal Golas (Pol) Team Sky
104Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ
105Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Tinkoff Team
106Luka Pibernik (Slo) Lampre - Merida
107Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
108Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
109Luis Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
110Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Trek-Segafredo
111Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
112Jacques Willem Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
113David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team Sky
DNFChristian Meier (Can) Orica-BikeExchange
DNFOscar Gatto (Ita) Tinkoff Team
DNFSergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff Team
DNFEvgeny Petrov (Rus) Tinkoff Team
DNFImanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
DNFRory Sutherland (Aus) Movistar Team
DNFPeter Velits (Svk) BMC Racing Team
DNFXabier Zandio Echaide (Spa) Team Sky
DNFJhonatan Restrepo (Col) Team Katusha
DNFArthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
DNFAlexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ
DNFMatthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ
DNFBenoît Vaugrenard (Fra) FDJ
DNFMurilo Antonio Fischer (Bra) FDJ
DNFDavide Malacarne (Ita) Astana Pro Team
DNFEros Capecchi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
DNFSteven Lammertink (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNFPaul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
DNFMario Jorge Faria Da Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida
DNFPrzemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre - Merida
DNFStijn Devolder (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
DNFFumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek-Segafredo
DNFMarco Coledan (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
DNFJohannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFChad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFSindre Skjoestad Lunke (Nor) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFLaurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFZico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin
DNFAlan Marangoni (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
DNFTiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFSean De Bie (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFPim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Soudal
DNFTosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFLouis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFGuillaume Bonnafond (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFBiel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
DNFPirmin Lang (Swi) IAM Cycling
DNFAleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling
DNFSongezo Jim (RSA) Dimension Data
DNFCarlos Barbero Cuesta (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNFYoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFLoïc Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFArnold Jeannesson (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNFAnthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
DNSLieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team

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Stephen Farrand
Stephen Farrand

Stephen is the most experienced member of the Cyclingnews team, having reported on professional cycling since 1994. He has held the position of European editor since 2012 and previously worked for Reuters, Shift Active Media, and Cycling Weekly, among other publications.

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