Van Vleuten attacked over the final climb of the Donostiako Klasikoa and soloed 10km to the line, just three days after winning the Olympic TT title in Toyko.
Ruth Winder (Trek-Segafredo) led a brave chase to finish second, and Tatiana Guderzo (Alé-BTC) outsprinted a small pack for third shortly afterward.
The victory is van Vleuten’s first at San Sebastián in what will be a coup for her Spanish team.
“My first ‘txapela,’” she said, referring to the Basque hat trophy she was handed on the podium
“I was second in the Emakumeen Bira and was jealous of the winner’s ‘txapela.’ I love racing here – I love the Basque Country.”
Movistar had looked intent on scoring in Saturday’s race through the Spanish Basque Country, controlling the escape and positioning van Vleuten for her winning move after “The Blues” had reeled in the breakaway.
“It’s an amazing victory for the team,” van Vleuten said. “Winning is nice, but we did it together. It was a hard race as everyone raced quite well, and the rain made it harder.
“With the jetlag (after returning from Tokyo), I was more tired, I didn’t get much sleep, so it was extra hard. But if the team is working that hard, I have to finish it off,”
A group of six had come together at the front of the race with around 40km to go.
Guderzo punched out of the peloton to join a bunch of five, with Pauliena Rooijakkers (Liv), Evita Muzik (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek-Sefgafredo), Olivia Baril (Massi-Tactic) and Ane Santesteban (BikeExchange) also in the move.
Cordon Ragot attacked out of the escape with 12 km to go to take a slim lead on the steep Murgil climb as the Movistar-led pack breathed heavy down the break’s necks.
Movistar pulled back the remnants of the break midway up the climb, setting up van Vleuten for her trademark long-range winning move. The Olympic TT champ rocketed out of the reduced lead group and promptly motored past Cordon-Ragot to hold a narrow lead over a pack of chasers at the summit of the climb.
Winder, Rooijakkers and Muzic led the pursuers over the summit before Winder powered away to lead the chase. However, with van Vleuten tearing away around 45 seconds up the road, there was no stopping the newly-minted Olympian.
Winder continued pushing, distancing Rooijakkers to secure a solid second-place.
Rooijakkers and Muzic worked well together as they raced toward the line, but it wasn’t enough to hold off a group of three chasers, including Guderzo. The fivesome came down the finish straight together and Guderzo had the legs to sprint from the front to secure third.
Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa Women Results
|1||VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek||Movistar Team||3:53:37|
|2||WINDER Ruth||Trek-Segafredo Women||0:36|
|3||GUDERZO Tatiana||Alé BTC Ljubljana||1:35|
|4||STULTIENS Sabrina||Liv Racing||1:35|
|5||MUZIC Évita||FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope||1:35|
|6||CHAPMAN Brodie||FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope||1:35|
|7||ROOIJAKKERS Pauliena||Liv Racing||1:38|
|8||CORDON-RAGOT Audrey||Trek-Segafredo Women||1:52|
|9||MAGNALDI Erica||Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling||1:52|
|10||VAN DIJK Ellen||Trek-Segafredo Women||1:52|
|11||KOREVAAR Jeanne||Liv Racing||2:00|
|12||ENSING Janneke||Team BikeExchange||2:12|
|13||DUVAL Eugénie||FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope||2:12|
|14||PINTAR Urša||Alé BTC Ljubljana||2:12|
|15||NEUMANOVA Tereza||Women Cycling Team||2:53|
|16||ROY Sarah||Team BikeExchange||2:53|
|17||RAGUSA Katia||A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team||2:53|
|18||JASKULSKA Marta||Liv Racing||2:53|
|19||VAN ANROOIJ Shirin||Trek-Segafredo Women||2:53|
|20||GUILMAN Victorie||FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope||2:53|
|21||BARIL Olivia||Massi - Tactic Women Team||2:53|
|22||SANTESTEBAN Ane||Team BikeExchange||2:53|
|23||HAMMES Kathrin||Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling||3:32|
|24||SILVESTRI Debora||Top Girls Fassa Bortolo||3:38|
|25||PERSICO Silvia||Valcar - Travel & Service||3:40|
|26||PALADIN Soraya||Liv Racing||3:40|
|27||ARZUFFI Alice Maria||Valcar - Travel & Service||3:45|
|28||CHURSINA Anastasiia||Alé BTC Ljubljana||3:47|
|29||MARTIN Sara||Movistar Team||3:52|
|30||PIRRONE Elena||Valcar - Travel & Service||4:00|
|31||BIRIUKOVA Yuliia||Eneicat - RBH Global||4:00|
|32||MERINO Eider||A.R. Monex Women's Pro Cycling Team||4:18|
|33||HANSON Lauretta||Trek-Segafredo Women||5:02|
|34||WIEL Jade||FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope||5:02|
|35||KERN Špela||Massi - Tactic Women Team||5:34|
|36||ŽIGART Urška||Team BikeExchange||5:34|
|37||ERASO Idoia||Laboral Kutxa - Fundacion Euskadi||5:53|
|38||TRIAS Mireia||Massi - Tactic Women Team||5:59|
|39||BOOGAARD Maaike||Alé BTC Ljubljana||5:59|
|40||VIGIE Margaux||Valcar - Travel & Service||6:30|
|41||OYARBIDE Lourdes||Movistar Team||9:03|
|42||GONZÁLEZ Alicia||Movistar Team||9:03|
|43||RODRÍGUEZ Gloria||Movistar Team||9:03|
|44||MAIA Melissa||Team Farto - BTC||9:03|
|45||KENNEDY Lucy||Team BikeExchange||10:17|
|46||ERIĆ Jelena||Movistar Team||13:34|
|47||PIERGIOVANNI Federica Damiana||Valcar - Travel & Service||15:57|
|48||STEELS Claire||Sopela Women's Team||16:08|
Results provided by ProCyclingStats.