Van Avermaet Fifth in San Sebastian30. July 2016, San Sebastian (ESP) — Road Team
Greg Van Avermaet sprinted to the line to claim in fifth place after a hard-fought battle at the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian, which saw Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) take the win.
The first 170km of racing saw a 6-rider breakaway form and gain a six-minute advantage before multiple chase groups, including one with Alessandro De Marchi, bring them back 50km before the finish line.
It was the final climb of Murgil Tontorra that proved decisive with Mollema breaking away with Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Team Katusha). Van Avermaet chased behind but was unable to bridge the gap before the summit and run into the finish.
Van Avermaet battled for fifth place in a five-rider sprint to the line, which marks his third top ten finish at the Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian.
Quotes from the Finish Line
Greg Van Avermaet:
“It was a hard edition that’s for sure. There were quite a few attacks to bring back the breakaway and we had Alessandro De Marchi in there, and then it was all for the last climb. Alessandro and Ben Hermans put me in a good position and then it was all up to me to do a good result on the last part of the final climb. I just tried to do my own tempo on the climb and I had to let these real climbers, like Valverde and Mollema, go. But I did a good tempo and I came to the top in a good position, and then I sprinted from our group to fifth position. I couldn’t have done any better today so I’m pretty happy with this result.”
“You always wait to see how the legs will react after the Tour de France and I’ve had a pretty busy week because I did some criteriums. I still feel good and it gives me confidence ahead of Rio. It’s a difficult parcours in Rio but I have a good chance. I have to be a little bit lucky with the race situation but maybe I can go for it.”
Yvon Ledanois, Sports Director:
“The team did a very good job today. In the last 25km we tried to protect Richie Porte, Greg Van Avermaet and Philippe Gilbert who were the three riders who had the best shot at winning. The last climb was the most important moment to win the race. If you have the legs, then it’s definitely the moment to go as we saw with Mollema. Greg was pretty close to Mollema’s group at the top of the climb but couldn’t quite bridge, and from there it was the front four riders going for the win.”
“If you look at Greg’s sprint for 5th place you can see that he had the legs to win the race. Greg did the job very well and I’m happy with his race today. We came here to win with a strong team and we walk away with a top five result, but when you look at the difficulty of the race, I’m definitely not disappointed.”
Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian
San Sebastian > San Sebastian (220.2km)
Top 3: Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), Tony Gallopin (Lotto-Soudal), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 5. Greg Van Avermaet, 14. Ben Hermans, 51. Alessandro De Marchi