Clásica de San Sebastián 2023: The Route

Clasica de San SebastianSaturday 29 July - At 230.3 kilometres, the Clásica de San Sebastián is played out in the steep hills of the Basque Country. The finale includes a 2.1 kilometres drag at 10.1% before a flying descent into San Sebastián.

Last year, Remco Evenepoel took the spoils with a 50 kilometres solo. The short and sharp Murgil was included, but the run-up was different then. In fact, this year’s route is a carbon copy of 2019. Which turned out to be Remco Evenepoel’s first Clásica de San Sebastián onemanshow…

The first climb is the Meage – 3.5 kilometres uphill at 3.4% -, which is crested at kilometre 27. A perfect place to stretch the legs before the route continues to the Alto Iturburu. The 6.6 kilometres climb at 5.3% leads to the highest point of the Clásica de San Sebastián, yet, the summit is situated at merely 550 metres above sea level. Which is typical for the Basque Country – tough ascents at moderate altitude. Next up is the Alkiza, a 4.4 kilometres climb at 6.2% with its summit after 80 kilometres of action.

A calm phase in the race precedes the Alto de Jaizkibel. The 6.9 kilometres long climb at 6.2% is a staple on the Clásica de San Sebastián. The first half is steepest. The Jaizkibel recently features on the Tour de France, but it was tackled from the other side.

And on it goes. Approximately 10 kilometres after the descent of the Jaizkibel the riders enter the 13 kilometres long Erlaitz. The first and last part are merely false flats, but the heart of the ascent is quite the opposite: 3.8 kilometres at 10.6%.

The riders descend into San Sebastián for the first passage on the line with 48 kilometres remaining. Still two ascents to go, both with inhumanly gradients. First the Mendizorrotz, a 4.1 kilometres climb at 7.1% but with a brutal middle section of 2 kilometres at 11.3%.

Usually, the Clásica de San Sebastián comes down to the steep ramps of the Murgil Tontorra. The wall-like obstacle was first included in 2014 and it’s now emblematic of the race. It’s averaging 10.1% and the length is 2.1 kilometres, while the steepest section goes up at 22%.

Only 7.3 kilometres remaining at the top. First a false flat and then a technical descent into San Sebastián before the last 3 kilometres are played out on the wide and flat boulevards along the coast.

Evenepoel was dropped on the Mendizorrotz in 2019, but he regained contact in the valley, only to go on the attack moments later with Toms Skujins. The Flemish powerhouse dropped his companion in the last 500 metres of the Murgil Tontorra and soloed to victory. He was only 19 years of age at the time.

Another interesting read: results and start list 2023 Clásica de San Sebastián.

Clásica de San Sebastián 2023: routes, profiles, more

Click on the images to zoom

Watch the highlights of recent races here:
Related articles
Overview - Clásica de San Sebastián 2023
More articles
Like our Facebook page and stay on top of all pro-race information!