- Remco Evenepoel wins the 41st edition of the Clásica San Sebastián in 2022
- The Belgian rider’s two victories in the Clásica constituted two displays of power.
The 41st edition of the Clásica San Sebastián started with a sign-in replete with fans who came to see the Greats of international cycling. Tadej Pogacar (31, UAD), Remco Evenepoel (21, QST) and Alejandro Valverde (121, MOV) were among the most acclaimed.
Before the start, during the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Alejandro Valverde was honoured for his professional career and his great achievements in the races organised by OCETA.
At 11:26 the peloton set off in front of the San Sebastian City Hall and began to cover the race’s 224.8 km. Very soon, the day’s breakaway started to form with 9 riders at km 14.4:
Théo Delacroix (52, IWG), Manuele Boaro (105, AST), Casper Pedersen (146, DSM), Martijn Tusveld (147, DSM), Eugenio Sanchez (155, EKP), Ibai Azurmendi (195, EUS), Oscar Cabedo (216, BBH), Alan Jousseaume (225, TEN) and Jon Barrenetxea (185, CJR). The escapees achieved a maximum lead of 3 minutes over the peloton. The Quick-Step Alpha-Vynil and UAE Emirates teams always at the head of the peloton.
The first part of the race was tranquil, with the breakaway under control and Jon Barrenetxea (185, CJR) taking maximum points on the first three climbs.
The big climbs of the day approached, and the peloton accelerated and reduced the gap to 40″ before the start of Jaizkibel. The favourites began to move their teams into position and climbed at a very demanding pace until they caught the breakaway with 2.5 km to go until the top of Jaizkibel. With less than 600 m to go, Tadej Pogacar (31, UAE), one of the favourites, began to fall away from the peloton, it was not his day. The only first category pass, Erlaitz, witnessed the start of the attacks by the favourites. The first to try was Remco Evenepoel (21, QST), trailed by Simon Yates (81, BEX). The young Belgian didn’t look back and pulled hard on the tough Erlaitz ramps. And Simon Yates ultimately conceded a few metres. Behind, the group formed by Pavel Sivakov (IGD, 17), Carlos Rodriguez (IGD, 15), Tiesj Bennot (71, TJV) and Rigoberto Uran (7, EFN). The Colombian ended up giving way. Whilst Bauke Mollema went from strength to strength and reached the chasing group before the top of the pass. The gap between the race leader and the chasers remained at 1 minute.
Remco maintained his exhibition, while behind him the Ineos Grenadiers duo of Pavel Sivakov (IGD, 17) and Carlos Rodriguez (IGD, 15) picked up a few metres. The Belgian from Quick Step Alpha-Vynil was still unstoppable and extended the gap to 1’15” before the start of Murgil. The Mugil ramps only widened Remco Evenepoel’s lead over the chasers. And Carlos Rodriguez finally conceded a few metres to his teammate on the climb.
Nothing could stop the young Belgian rider, who reached the top with a two-minute lead, launching himself along the roads of Igeldo until he reached the boulevard of San Sebastian where he raised his arms just as in 2019.