Canyon Riders Dominate Podium
Alejandro Valverde of Movistar Team took the win aboard his Ultimate CF SLX at the Clásica San Sebastián on Saturday with Joaquim Rodríguez of Katusha coming in 3rd after a dominant performance from Canyon riders. Just one week after the Tour de France, the Clásica San Sebastián in the mountainous Basque region of northern Spain marked a return to WorldTour racing for the pro peloton.
With 219 km on the cards and a number of tough categorised climbs, attacks came and went throughout the day before the race was blown to pieces the final ascent within 10 km from the line. Rodríguez jumped away in his inimitable racing style to lead over the summit before the breakneck descent into the centre of San Sebastián.
The Katusha captain held a handful of seconds over a group of four pursuers, including Valverde. During the high speed drop down to the coast, the riders’ mettle and descending skills were put to the test and Rodríguez was caught by the chasers.
A crash from Adam Yates disrupted the flow in the group, allowing Valverde the chance to slip away and press home his advantage, riding right on the limit during the technical run to the finish. Valverde raised his arms to cross the line first and take his tenth victory of the season, while behind him Rodríguez contested the sprint for the podium to finish third.
Heading into the final part of the season, Valverde now leads the individual WorldTour rider rankings and was pleased to be back on the top step of the podium: “San Sebastián is a race I really like, even more with this route. It’s my second victory here, plus two other podiums. Ten wins already this season, now on top of the WorldTour… I can only be happy.”
Movistar Team lead the WorldTour team classification, having taken 27 wins so far this season. With the Vuelta a España looming at the end of the month where the squad will back Giro winner, Nairo Quintana, for overall victory, the prospects look good for maintaining top spot in the rankings.