Remco Evenepoel has surprisingly won the Clásica San Sebastián on Saturday. The Belgian top talent crossed the finish line after more than 227 kilometers in the Basque Country.
The only nineteen-year-old Evenepoel left his Latvian companion Toms Skujins at about 10 kilometers on the last climb of the race and was no longer overtaken by the competition.
In the 39th edition of the Clásica San Sebastián, a leading group of nine riders formed early on. Among them were the Dutchman Koen Bouwman and the 39-year-old Spaniard Markel Irizar, who rode his last course of his career.
In the first part of the race it became clear that the Tour de France took its toll. Title defender Julian Alaphilippe and Jumbo-Visma leader Laurens De Plus, among others, stepped down because they were too tired to continue. Tour winner Egan Bernal, Mikel Landa and Simon Yates also ran into problems on the various climbs relatively quickly.
The refugees were initially given space in the peloton and had a lead of about four minutes halfway. As the game progressed, the leading group thinned further and further, leaving Spaniard Fernando Barceló the last of this group. The rider of the modest Euskadi Basque Country-Murias was reckoned at approximately 50 kilometers.
Evenepoel fights back
On the climb to Mendizorrotz, the penultimate of the race, the race broke open and Movistar accelerated. As a result, the peloton thinned further and further and Bauke Mollema was having a hard time at the rear. The Groninger, who finished second behind Alaphilippe last year, was finally able to join.
Remco Evenepoel fell behind for a while, but he fought back and went on the attack with Skujins about 20 kilometers from the finish. The duo started with 40 seconds ahead of the thinned peloton on the Murgil-Tontorra, a 1.8 kilometer climb with an average increase of 11.5 percent.
On the last climb, which has served as a sharpener in recent years, Evenepoel rode away from Skujins. Several riders from the chasing group tried to close the gap with the young rider from Deceuninck-Quick-Step, but in the end he held up without any problems.