July 31, 2021
Clásica San Sebastián 2021 – San Sebastián – San Sebastián : 223,5 km
The Clásica San Sebastián might not be the oldest one-day race on the men’s cycling calendar,
July 31, 2021
Clásica San Sebastián 2021 – San Sebastián – San Sebastián : 223,5 km
The Clásica San Sebastián might not be the oldest one-day race on the men’s cycling calendar, having hosted its inaugural edition in 1981, but over the last few decades it has established itself as one of the most prestigious and just as much of a ‘Classic’. One of the biggest reasons why this race has grown in size and stature, to the point where it’s now a stalwart on the WorldTour calendar, is because of the icons who’ve won here.
Neilson Powless (EF Education-Nippo) defeated Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious) and Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck-QuickStep) in a three-man sprint to win Clasicá Cicliste San Sebastián.
Along with Lorenzo Rota (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), the three riders broke out of the peloton on the descent of Erlaitz, about 35km from the finish.
Despite being affected by a late crash on the run-in to the finish, which saw Rota distanced from the others, the leaders were able to avoid being caught by the small group of favourites in pursuit.
It was an unusual race that did not play out as expected. With Honore up the road, Deceuninck-QuickStep did not chase for race favourite Julian Alaphilippe, leaving Trek-Segafredo to do most of the work instead.
The advantage of over one minute that Powless, Honore, Mohoric, Rota and Powless’ teammate Simon Carr (who had been caught by the group having earlier broken clear on the Erlaitz ascent) held by the bottom of the final climb of Murgil Tontorra and it proved too much for the peloton to bring back.
After Carr was dropped on the climb, and Rota distanced after a crash on the run-in to the finish, Powless managed to win the three-man sprint in the finale.
“I can’t even put into words how much this means to me,” said a delighted Powless at the finish.
“Our director Juan Manuel [Garate] was so excited for us to come to this race. We didn’t have the favourite for the race, so we tried to ride the race smart. In the end, we played our cards perfectly. I’m so happy.
“My first professional victory. I’m just so happy to have taken it here in San Sebastian with a director in the car who’s a local. Every time I’ve race through the Basque Country it’s been incredible with the fans, so I’m super-happy to win in front of such enthusiastic crowds.
There were multiple crashes throughout the day, which took place in wet, treacherous conditions. The most significant of these occurred on the run-in to the finish among the leaders. Mohoric misjudged a corner and had to unclip, which caused Honore to crash into a wall, and Rota to be taken down.
“I was watching the map on my Garmin,” explained Powless when asked about the incident. “I think the guys who were in front of me were maybe too focussed on the situation of the race and not so much the road. I could see it was a sharp corner coming up that they ended up crashing in. In the end I was just happy to keep upright, and stay as fresh as possible for the end.
Mohoric managed to catch back to him 2.3km from the finish, and then Honore less than a kilometre later, but Powless was strongest in the sprint to take victory.
How it unfolded
A large group of sixteen riders formed a breakaway at the start of the 2021 San Sebastian, featuring: Lilian Calmejane, Mikael Cherel (both Ag2r Citroen), Valerio Conti, Alexandr Riabushebko (both UAE Team Emirates), Johan Jacobs, Jose Joaquin Rojas (both Movistar), Javier Romo (Astana-Premier Tech), Jeremy Cabot (Total Energies), Jokin Murguialday, Jon Barrenetxea (both Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Mikel Bizkarra (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Tsgabu Grmay (BikeExchange), Oscar Cabedo, Daniel Navarro (both Burgos-BH), Xandres Vervloesem (Lotto-Soudal) and Romain Hardy (Arkea-Samsic).
This group remained clear over the early climbs of the day, with Bizkarra being first over Urraki, and Barrenetxea cresting the Alkiza first.
They were never given enough of a gap to have a chance of surviving, and by the foot of the famous Alto de Jaizkibel 70km from the finish, their lead was down to less than 1-30.
On Alto de Jaizkibel, Romo, Cabot, Vervloesem and Murguialday went clear from the rest of the break, before Romo shortly dropping the other three to become the sole leader of the race.
Jumbo-Visma and Ineos Grenadiers did most of the pace-setting in the peloton up the climb, wanting to make the race hard for their climbers. They began to pick up stragglers from the break, but Romo managed to increase his lead to up to 1:50 at the top.
The clouds darkened and the heavens opened as the riders went up the climb, making for a nervous descent on which both Yuriv Natarov (Astana-Premier Tech) and Omer Goldstein (Israel-StartUp Nation) crashed.
In typically aggressive fashion, two-time Tour de France stage winner Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious) attacked on the descent, and caught the remaining half a dozen riders from the break who were behind Romo. Unwilling to let such a dangerous rider clear, the peloton promptly brought them back, meaning Romo was left as the sole rider out front.
The wet weather continued to cause havoc when Wilco Kelderman and his two Bora-Hansgrohe teammates Matteo Fabbro and Giovanni Aleotti all went down on the slippery roads, along with one of the race motorbikes.
Romo hit the start of the Erlaitz climb with a lead of 50 seconds, as Jumbo-Visma increased the pace at the front of the peloton on the run-in to the important climb. UAE Team Emirates and EF Education-Nippo took over at the front once the climb began, but it was Bahrain-Victorious’s Mikel Landa who made the first attack.
With Simon Carr (EF Education-Nippo) on his wheel, Landa soon caught and passed Romo. But of the two new leaders, Carr proved much stronger, and he dropped Landa to crest the climb first.
Despite the severity of the climb, dozens of riders remained in the peloton by the top of the climb, and swelled to a bigger size as more caught up again on the descent.
While Landa dropped back into the peloton, Carr continued to increase his lead on the descent, up to 45 seconds.
Mohoric, Honore and Rota all made their decisive move out of the peloton on the descent, with Powless marking the move for his EF Education-Nippo teammate Simon Carr. Despite the presence of Powless, they worked well together to chase down Carr, and caught him 23km from the finish.
With the five leaders holding a gap of about 50 seconds over the peloton, Trek-Segafredo’s Giulio Ciccone did a committed turn at the front of the peloton in service of his team leader, Bauke Mollema. He received no help from the team of the other race favourite, Julian Alaphilippe’s Deceuninck-QuickStep, as they had Honore up the road.
Despite the efforts of Ciccone, his teammates and a UAE Team Emirates, the peloton struggled to reduce the gap to the leaders, which by the start of the final climb of Murgil Tontorra was over a minute.
There was another crash on a sharp corner leading up to the climb towards the front of the bunch, which might have disrupted and slowed down the chase.
In the break, Carr was dropped towards the start, prompting Powless to attack. Mohoric dragged him back with Honore on his wheel, and by the top the three were together, with Rota catching them soon after on the descent.
Ciccone attempted an attack out of the peloton on the climb, but neither him or anyone else from the peloton was able to catch up to the leaders, leaving Powless to take a surprise victory.
1 Neilson Powless (USA) EF Education-Nippo 5:34:31
2 Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
3 Mikkel Honoré (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
4 Lorenzo Rota (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:00:30
5 Alessandro Covi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:04
6 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
7 Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
8 Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
9 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
11 Gonzalo Serrano Rodriguez (Spa) Movistar Team
12 Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal
13 Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain Victorious
14 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
15 Simon Carr (GBr) EF Education-Nippo 0:01:08
16 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:01:09
17 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:36
18 Juan Ayuso Pesquera (Spa) Team Colpack Ballan
19 Ruben Guerreiro (Por) EF Education-Nippo
20 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
21 Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Cofidis
22 Simon Yates (GBr) Team BikeExchange
23 Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team DSM
24 Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
25 Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Team BikeExchange
26 Jai Hindley (Aus) Team DSM 0:01:39
27 Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
28 Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:02:02
29 Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation 0:02:51
30 James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep
31 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:59
32 Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
33 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
34 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious
35 Héctor Carretero (Spa) Movistar Team
36 Stefano Oldani (Ita) Lotto Soudal 0:04:23
37 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
38 Romain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:26
39 Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal
40 Julen Amezqueta Moreno (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
41 Roger Adria Oliveras (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
42 Kobe Goossens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
43 Simone Petilli (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
44 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
45 Urko Berrade Fernandez (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
46 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 0:04:49
47 Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:04:54
48 Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra) Cofidis 0:05:00
49 Jaakko Hänninen (Fin) AG2R Citroën Team
50 Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:05:20
51 David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates 0:05:41
52 Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team BikeExchange 0:05:56
53 Stephen Williams (GBr) Bahrain Victorious 0:06:38
54 Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers 0:06:41
55 Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
56 Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
57 Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis 0:07:23
58 Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:09:24
59 Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Burgos-BH
60 Larry Warbasse (USA) AG2R Citroën Team
61 José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
62 Jon Agirre Egaña (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
63 Jose Felix Parra Cuerda (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
64 Sergio Samitier Samitier (Spa) Movistar Team
65 Matteo Jorgenson (USA) Movistar Team
66 Fernando Barceló Aragon (Spa) Cofidis
67 Ibai Azurmendi Sagastibeltza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
68 William Barta (USA) EF Education-Nippo
69 Emil Vinjebo (Den) Team Qhubeka Assos
70 Victor de la Parte (Spa) Total Direct Energie
71 Santiago Buitrago Sanchez (Col) Bahrain Victorious
72 Kevin Colleoni (Ita) Team BikeExchange
73 Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:09:41
74 Robert Stannard (Aus) Team BikeExchange
75 Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
76 Alexander Cataford (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
77 Lars van den Berg (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
78 Einer Rubio Reyes (Col) Movistar Team
79 Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
80 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Education-Nippo 0:10:22
81 Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:10:55
82 Sebastian Berwick (Aus) Israel Start-up Nation
83 Oier Lazkano Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:11:29
84 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:12:27
85 Victor Langellotti (Mon) Burgos-BH 0:14:06
86 Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Arkea-Samsic
87 Kilian Frankiny (Swi) Team Qhubeka Assos
88 Winner Anacona (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
89 Romain Hardy (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
90 Kevin Vermaerke (USA) Team DSM
91 Yevgeniy Fedorov (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
92 Yuriy Natarov (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
93 Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel Start-up Nation
94 Valentin Ferron (Fra) Total Direct Energie
95 Javier Romo Oliver (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
96 Jokin Murguialday (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
97 Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
98 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
99 Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
100 Chris Harper (Aus) Jumbo-Visma 0:15:26
DNF Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNF Josef Cerny (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNF Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNF François Bidard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
DNF Lilian Calmejane (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
DNF Mikaël Cherel (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
DNF Damien Touze (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
DNF Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNF Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates
DNF Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
DNF Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
DNF Alexander Kamp (Den) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Antonio Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Charlie Quarterman (GBr) Trek-Segafredo
DNF Giovanni Aleotti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Patrick Gamper (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Ide Schelling (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
DNF Johan Jacobs (Swi) Movistar Team
DNF Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Israel Start-up Nation
DNF Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
DNF Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
DNF Alexys Brunel (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNF Clément Davy (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNF Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
DNF Jonathan Caicedo (Ecu) EF Education-Nippo
DNF Julien El Fares (Fra) EF Education-Nippo
DNF Andrey Amador (CRc) Ineos Grenadiers
DNF Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
DNF Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
DNF Jeremy Cabot (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNF Marlon Gaillard (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNF Fabien Grellier (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNF Florian Maitre (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNF Julien Simon (Fra) Total Direct Energie
DNF Kevin Inkelaar (Ned) Bahrain Victorious
DNF Domen Novak (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
DNF Sander Armée (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos
DNF Carlos Barbero (Spa) Team Qhubeka Assos
DNF Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team Qhubeka Assos
DNF Connor Brown (NZl) Team Qhubeka Assos
DNF Dylan Sunderland (Aus) Team Qhubeka Assos
DNF Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Team BikeExchange
DNF André Carvalho (Por) Cofidis
DNF Nathan Haas (Aus) Cofidis
DNF Natnael Berhane (Eri) Cofidis
DNF Aritz Bagües Kalparsoro (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNF Jon Irisarri Ricon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNF Jon Barrenetxea Golzarri (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
DNF Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNF Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNF Joan Bou Company (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNF Xabier Mikel Azparren Irurzun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
DNF Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNF Jonas Koch (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNF Romain Combaud (Fra) Team DSM
DNF Chad Haga (USA) Team DSM
DNF Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team DSM
DNF Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Team DSM
DNF Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Burgos-BH
DNF Willem Jakobus Smit (RSA) Burgos-BH
DNF Alex Molenaar (Ned) Burgos-BH
DNF Oscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos-BH
DNF Pelayo Sanchez Mayo (Spa) Burgos-BH
DNF Filippo Conca (Ita) Lotto Soudal
DNF Matthew Holmes (GBr) Lotto Soudal
DNF Xandres Vervloesem (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNF Miguel Eduardo Florez Lopez (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNF Matis Louvel (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNF Alan Riou (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
DNF Raul Garcia Pierna (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma
DNF Savva Novikov (Rus) Equipo Kern Pharma
DNF Jordi Lopez Caravaca (Spa) Equipo Kern Pharma