Dan Martin, who was coming off the back of a very solid Tour de France, will miss Clasica San Sebastian due to injury.
At first glance, the 37th edition of the Clasica San Sebastian will be harder than the one of last year, as it’s longer (231 kilometers) and will see the peloton take on more climbs, but in truth it should once again come down to the Jaizkibel – Arkale combo, set to be done twice, and the leg-sapping Murgil Tontorra, the 1900m-long climb averaging 9.2%, whose summit will be crested just eight kilometers from the finish, where the riders will arrive after a fast technical descent followed by a short flat section.
Philippe Gilbert will headline Quick-Step Floors’ roster for the Spanish classic. The Belgian won here in 2011 and finished runner-up at his most recent participation, in 2015, and is now ready to resume racing after a viral gastroenteritis forced him to abandon the Tour de France in the last week.
“It’s my first race since the Tour de France, so it’s hard to say where I am, especially as I had to pull out of the Tour due to illness. San Sebastian is always an important race, and of course I would like to do good, but it is difficult to say where I stand. I think my body is feeling better and I’m looking forward to racing again and to test the waters, but I’ll be able to say more after the race”, said Gilbert, who so far this season has landed five wins, including Ronde van Vlaanderen and Amstel Gold Race.
Joining Gilbert for Saturday’s race will be Gianluca Brambilla, Eros Capecchi, David De La Cruz, Dries Devenyns, Enric Mas, Pieter Serry and Zdenek Stybar.