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Does BikeExchange-Jayco have the ultimate one-two for this weekend’s Donostiako Klasikoa/Clásica San Sebastián?
Yates and Matthews lead BikeExchange-Jayco into Saturday’s Basque one-dayer in what will be a royal rumble against a field flooded with talent including Tadej Pogačar, Remco Evenepoel, and Alejandro Valverde.
“We come into San Sebastián with a really strong team, probably one of the strongest teams we have fielded at this race in the last few years,” team director Mat Hayman warned his rivals Friday.
Yates came out of the gates hot after recovering and reassessing after his Giro d’Italia DNF this spring.
Victory at the one-day Prueba Villafranca before scooping a stage and the overall of the Vuelta Castilla y León sees the Brit bouncing ahead of Saturday’s WorldTour race.
“I’m looking forward to San Sebastián, it is a one-day race that I really like with the explosive climbs and in general a course that you can really race on. I love this type of racing and I’m hoping on Saturday we can have a good result,” he said.
“It has been nice getting back into the swing of things after almost two months of training since the Giro. The legs are feeling good, and it was nice to start back with a win in Villafranca and also in Castilla y Leon.”
Meanwhile “Bling” Matthews looks back to his best after stunning stage victory and two second-places at the Tour de France.
Tour breakout star Nick Schultz brings even more Aussie beef to the BikeExchange mix for a race sitting perfectly between Matthews and Yates’ skillsets.
“Simon is on a true run of form, winning on Monday and yesterday with solo breakaways and we will have Nick and Michael joining the line-up coming out of the Tour de France, so those three riders will spearhead our team,” Hayman said.
“It is a tough race but with this team I think we have a very good chance of going after the win.”
The Donostia San Sebastián Klasikoa is perfectly placed to bring together riders eeking out post-Tour form and those building toward next month’s Vuelta a España. Yates recently hinted the Spanish tour could be on his agenda for late summer.
“Saturday will be hard, there’s a lot of good riders and guys coming out of the Tour with good legs, so let’s see what we can do,” he said. “It will definitely be a tough race, but we have a really good team.”
BikeExchange has the wind at its back after stage wins for Matthews and Dylan Groenewegen at the Tour. It could be time for Yates to succeed his brother Adam as the last GreenEdge franchise rider to win the iconic Basque hat at San Sebastian.
Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-up:
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH)
Jan Maas (NED)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Nick Schultz (AUS)
Callum Scotson (AUS)
Dion Smith (NZL)
Simon Yates (GBR)