Last year Greg Van Avermaet lost the race when he collided with a television bike on the steep Bordako Tontorra. He was leading the race, while Adam Yates took over to power on to the victory.
As the Clásica San Sebastián closes with a drop good descenders enjoy an advantage. In 2014 Valverde got clear attacked in the descent of the Bordako Tontorra to take his second win since 2008. On that score Jarlinson Pantano could be up for a surprise. He did win stage 15 in the 2016 Tour de France because he outperformed his fellow-escapees in the downhill sections.
Good descending skills may be favourable, yet you have to be a good climber to start with. Traditionally the Basque Country is teeming with steep climbs. In the last editions the decision came on the Bordako Tontorra, a 2.5 kilometres climb with an average gradient at 9%. This time the finale is played out at the Murgil Tontora, a 1.8 kilometres climb at 10.8 %. At the top it’s 7.9 kilometres to the finish line, mainly a plunge down.
Favourites Clásica de San Sebastián
*** Bauke Mollema, Adam Yates, Alejandro Valverde, Greg Van Avermaet, Julian Alaphilippe
** Simon Yates, Ion Izagirre, Daniel Martin, Steven Kruijswijk, Tony Gallopin, Jarlinson Pantano
* Rafal Majka, Philippe Gilbert, Richie Porte, Michal Kwiatkowski, Bob Jungels, Joaquim Rodriguez, Rigoberto Uran
Clásica de San Sebastián 2016: Route maps, height profiles, etc.
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