Remco Evenepoel kicks for huge solo win at Clásica San Sebastián

Tadej Pogačar popped off the back at around 62km to go as Evenepoel roars to second victory in tough Basque race.

Photo: Getty Images

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Remco Evenepoel did what Remco Evenepoel does by delivering another long solo victory at the Clásica San Sebastián.

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s young ace squeezed away from the peloton at around 45 kilometers to go and never looked back as he time trialed to his second win in the bumpy Spanish Basque classic. Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) and Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma) went two-three on the podium, more than two minutes back.

Evenepoel made long-range race-winning raids a trademark through his young career, most recently at his marquee victory in Liège-Bastoge-Liège. An hour-long solo Saturday adds to the list of impressive feats in the 22-year-old’s already prolific career.

The Belgian used the Clásica as a springboard into the Vuelta a España, where he said he’s hoping to win at least a stage, with the GC not a main priority at the start of the race.

Tour de France star Tadej Pogačar was dropped under the searing pace set by Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl on the Jaizkibel climb and never saw the action in what was his first race after finishing second in Paris.

Pogačar will now reboot for a month before rebuilding for road worlds in September.

Not many flat roads in Spain’s Basque Country.


A nine-rider move went clear soon after the flag.

Théo Delacroix (Intermarché-Wanty), Manuele Boaro (Astana-Qazaqstan), Casper Pedersen, Martijn Tusveld (both DSM), Eugenio Sánchez (Kern Pharma), Jon Barrenetxea (Caja Rural), Ibai Azurmendi (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Óscar Cabedo (Burgos BH) and Fabian Grellier (TotalEnergies) punched away on drying roads after morning rain and built out a three minute gap.

The break seemed doomed to fail and broke down in the middle of the race as the bunch kept them on a close leash.

Quick-Step on the front, Pogačar off the back on the Jaizkibel

A hot pace by Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl on the slopes of the iconic Jaizkibel climb reeled in the break extra-early as it looked to let Evenepoel loose for his second victory in this race.

Meanwhile Pogačar yo-yo’d on and off the other end of the peloton and looked to be decisively dropped at around 62km to go. UAE-Emirates saw more drama soon afterward when co-captain João Almeida crashed in the downhill.

The smooth tarmac and winding descents of the Basque country made for a descender’s dream and Matej Mohorič (Bahrain-Victorious) looked to light things up on the way down the Jaizkibel.

Evenepoel squeezes away from the bunch, pulls away from Yates

Quick-Step soon reeled in the Slovenian and set the tone for things to come as the race roared into its final hour.

Rather than a huge rocketing attack, Evenepoel simply squeezed the pace until he rode away from the peloton when the race hit the Erlaitz climb at 45km to go. Simon Yates (BikeExchnge-Jayco) latched to his wheel and the two drilled clear.

Benoot, Sivakov, Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers) and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) bunched up to lead the chase behind the two leaders.

Evenepoel pushed the pace again and rode Yates off his wheel after the two rode tandem for just a few minutes.

The young Belgian topped the Erlaitz with only a slim gap but extended his advantage to around a minute before he started a long TT through the valley toward the leg-breaker slopes of the Murgil climb.

One vs two in final time trial to the line

Yates dropped back to the four chasers after Evenepoel rode away from him.

Rather than forming a fivesome with Yates and Co., Ineos Grenadiers duo Sivakov and Rodríguez went on a two-up chase after Quick-Step ace.

Evenepeoel used his TT talent and bent-inbars to the max in the roads toward the final climb. The 22-year-old hit the short, steep Murgil with a little more than one minute of a gap as he held off the two-up chase.

The 20 percent slopes of the Murgil didn’t slow down a rampaging Evenepoel as he kept on churning all the way to emphatic victory in downtown San Sebastian.

Evenepoel had so much of a gap he eased off the accelerator at around one kilometer to go as he relished his second victory after first winning in 2019.

Sivakov rode away from Ineos teammate Rodríguez on the Murgil before Mollema and then Benoot overhauled the Spaniard in the chase for third.

Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa Results

1EVENEPOEL RemcoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team5:31:44
2SIVAKOV PavelINEOS Grenadiers1:58
3BENOOT TiesjJumbo-Visma2:31
4MOLLEMA BaukeTrek - Segafredo3:11
5RODRÍGUEZ CarlosINEOS Grenadiers3:11
6YATES SimonTeam BikeExchange - Jayco3:28
7SKUJIŅŠ TomsTrek - Segafredo4:09
8SKJELMOSE MattiasTrek - Segafredo4:09
9URÁN RigobertoEF Education-EasyPost4:09
10ROTA LorenzoIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux4:09
11ADRIÀ RogerEquipo Kern Pharma4:09
12MOLARD RudyGroupama - FDJ4:09
13BENNETT GeorgeUAE Team Emirates4:09
14BERTHET ClémentAG2R Citroën Team4:09
15DE BOD StefanAstana Qazaqstan Team4:09
16LASTRA JonathanCaja Rural - Seguros RGA4:09
17NICOLAU JoelCaja Rural - Seguros RGA4:09
18MARTIN GuillaumeCofidis4:09
19PEDRERO AntonioMovistar Team4:09
20CHAVES EstebanEF Education-EasyPost4:09
21NIBALI VincenzoAstana Qazaqstan Team4:09
22HAGEN Carl FredrikIsrael - Premier Tech4:09
23POZZOVIVO DomenicoIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux4:09
24HAMILTON ChrisTeam DSM4:09
25REICHENBACH SébastienGroupama - FDJ4:09
26CHAMPOUSSIN ClémentAG2R Citroën Team4:09
27VELASCO SimoneAstana Qazaqstan Team4:29
28HÄNNINEN JaakkoAG2R Citroën Team4:30
29MÄDER GinoBahrain - Victorious4:32
30IZAGIRRE GorkaMovistar Team4:54
31BAKELANTS JanIntermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux4:54
32JOUSSEAUME AlanTotalEnergies4:54
33VAN DEN BERG LarsGroupama - FDJ4:54
34DONOVAN MarkTeam DSM4:54
35RIVERA Brandon SmithINEOS Grenadiers5:20
36KELDERMAN WilcoBORA - hansgrohe5:20
37CAICEDO Jonathan KleverEF Education-EasyPost5:20
38DÍAZ José ManuelBurgos-BH5:34
39CHEREL MikaëlAG2R Citroën Team5:34
40DE LA PARTE VíctorTotalEnergies5:34
41BUCHMANN EmanuelBORA - hansgrohe5:36
42HARPER ChrisJumbo-Visma6:10
43VILLELLA DavideCofidis6:10
44COSTA RuiUAE Team Emirates6:10
45IMPEY DarylIsrael - Premier Tech9:00
46BERRADE UrkoEquipo Kern Pharma9:00
47MIQUEL PauEquipo Kern Pharma9:00
48BIZKARRA MikelEuskaltel - Euskadi9:00
49SWEENY HarryLotto Soudal9:43
50MASNADA FaustoQuick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team10:47
51ANGULO AntonioEuskaltel - Euskadi10:47
52OKAMIKA AnderBurgos-BH12:10
53GESINK RobertJumbo-Visma12:10
54PRONSKIY VadimAstana Qazaqstan Team12:10
55GRMAY TsgabuTeam BikeExchange - Jayco12:10
56PERNSTEINER HermannBahrain - Victorious12:10
57GEOGHEGAN HART TaoINEOS Grenadiers12:10
58NIEVE MikelCaja Rural - Seguros RGA13:33
59MORENO AdriàBurgos-BH13:41
60ELISSONDE KennyTrek - Segafredo13:48

Results provided by ProCyclingStats.

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