Road

Clásica route toughened up

The Clásica de San Sebastián – Spain’s most important one-day race held a week after the Tour de France on July 31 – will be more difficult this year for its 30th edition.

The Clásica de San Sebastián – Spain’s most important one-day race held a week after the Tour de France on July 31 – will be more difficult this year for its 30th edition.

Laurent Jalabert launches a winning attack on the Jaizkibel in 2001. | Graham Watson photo
Laurent Jalabert launches a winning attack on the Jaizkibel in 2001. | Graham Watson photo

Race organizers have toughened up the profile dramatically, adding a second passage over the emblematic climb up the Jaizkibel, the decisive, first-category ridge that towers above the Bay of Biscayne like a shark’s fin.

Not only will the race feature two climbs up the Jaizkibel, but the route will also tackle the short but steep Arkale climb twice.

Although the Jaizkibel typically would break up the bunch, the climb was nearly 30km from the finish line, allowing riders to regroup for a relatively large bunch coming down the finishing straight into posh San Sebastián.

Organizers already added over the past few years to make the race more selective, including the addition of the Arkale climb last year that saw Carlos Barredo fend off Roman Kreuziger in an exciting duel.

Under the new route, the course will double back and tackle Jaizkibel a second time and hit the Arkale climb a second time, meaning the pack will tackle the Jaizkibel and the Arkale climbs twice each in the final 80km.

The distance will be 234km, just about its traditional finishing distance as earlier portions of the route will be modified to accommodate the route changes.

The race will feature 18 ProTour teams, along with Cervélo, Andalucia-CajaSur and Xacobeo-Galicia.