Van Avermaet Finishes 8th at Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian29. July 2017, San Sebastian (ESP) — Road Team
Greg Van Avermaet crossed the line in eighth place in a tough edition of Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian, his second consecutive top ten finish at the one-day race.
Van Avermaet was backed by a strong team at the UCI WorldTour race and was joined by Nicolas Roche who rounded out the top ten in the sprint for minor places.
A seven-rider breakaway went clear inside the first 30km, of the 231km course, and extended an advantage of more than five minutes before the peloton cooperated to bring the group back.
The catch was made with 55km to go on the final ascent of the category 1 Jaizkibel climb and new attacks started almost immediately.
One of the first riders to attack was Alessandro De Marchi, whose move created a leading group of 20 riders, including Amaël Moinard, before the peloton pulled them back with 42km remaining.
10km later, De Marchi made his way into another breakaway of ten riders and extended a 20-second lead on the bunch, before Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) went solo from the group.
20km from the finish line, the peloton had caught the remaining breakaway riders with the exception of Moscon who was 39 seconds in front, however, the fast pace set behind meant his lead was reducing with every kilometer.
The strength of the peloton on the category 2 Murgil Tontorra climb was too much and Moscon was caught with 10km to go, before further attacks played out.
Van Avermaet was part of a chase group that formed behind five leading riders but wasn’t able to bridge to the group in the closing kilometers of the race.
Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) claimed the win, while 38 seconds later, Van Avermaet and Roche sprinted to eighth and tenth place respectively.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Greg Van Avermaet:
“I’m pretty happy. I could have maybe been two places better because Alberto Bettiol (Cannondale-Drapac) went away on the flat and I made a little mistake in the sprint so I didn’t win the sprint from the peloton. The maximum result would have been sixth and now I’m eighth so I think I should be happy. It was a goal to get a top ten result and I was really happy with my feelings and my legs. It was a good day.”
“I know I am always good after the Tour de France but in the last week I was struggling a little bit with sickness, so there was always a question mark on my form today. I know if I can take a little rest after the Tour, I’m pretty good in the races afterwards. So, it’s always good to get this nice feeling back and I think the parcours with the last climb is on the limit for me. This we know from the last years. Last year I was fifth, this year I was eighth, but it depends on the race situation and how many guys go on the climb. In the end, I think I am on the same level as last year and ready for my upcoming races.”
Yvon Ledanois, Sports Director:
“The team did a good job and they respected the plan. They were aggressive and we had Alessandro De Marchi and Amaël Moinard in the group that went after the breakaway was caught. There were a lot of teams pulling and when Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) went clear, De Marchi and Moinard helped to pull him back. On the last climb it was almost all together and in the last kilometer of the climb, we saw a big attack from Landa and Mollema. The chase group with Greg Van Avermaet and Nicolas Roche reached the summit only 11-12 seconds behind, but that’s enough when the finish line is so close after the climb. I think Greg had good legs today and he did what he could. When you look at the top climbers who were ahead of him, it’s a realistic result for Greg.”
Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian
San Sebastian > San Sebastian (231km)
Top 3: 1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), 2, Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal), 3. Bauke Mollema (Trek Segafredo).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 8. Greg Van Avermaet, 10. Nicolas Roche