This Saturday July 30 will see the 30th anniversary of Clásica de San Sebastián. Famous for the challenging and up-and-down terrain, this is a race for the aggressive and the tenacious.
What was once the first race after the end of the Tour de France has now become one of many races to follow the end of Tour. As expected, this race is favoured by Spaniards – all wanting to win in their home country – but it also serves as excellent preparation for upcoming late season races.
The first edition of this race was won by a young Basque rider named Marino Lejarreta. This win quickly made him one of the fan favourites in the Basque country. Lejarreta holds the record for most wins at this classic race with three wins. For a full list of winners see this link. It is interesting to note that the Clásica de San Sebastián was Lance Armstrong’s first professional race in 1992 – he finished last. In 1995 Armstrong did win the race!
This race features 230 kilometres of undulating terrain with the famous Jaizkibel climb coming a mere 30 kilometres from the finish. Organized by the Basque newspaper El Diario Vasco, the race became a World Cup event in 1988. No longer a World Cup event, this classic one-day still attracts the strongmen from the peloton.
Always with an exciting finish, be sure to watch this video of the climb up the Jaizkibel in 2010. To watch the race on Saturday, click on over to Cyclingfans.com for live feeds. It will be interesting to see how the race plays out with Phillippe Gilbert, the Schleck brothers, Thor Hushovd, and Spanish stars – José Joaquin Rojas, Juan Antonio Flecha and Carlos Sastre all toeing the line.
Any thoughts on who will win this 30th edition of the famed San Sebastián?