Neilson Powless (EF Education-Nippo) won the Clasica San Sebastian on Saturday after edging a thrilling three-way dash for the line on the Basque city’s famous seafront.
You can rewatch 2021 Clasica San Sebastian HERE
The 24-year-old from Florida was part of a breakaway over the narrow hill roads outside San Sebastian and finished the 231km course in 5hr 34mins 31sec, just ahead of Matej Mohoric and Mikkel Honore.
“We played our cards perfectly, I’m so happy,” said Powless. “It’s my first professional victory and I’m happy to have taken it here in San Sebastian with a director in the car who’s a local.
“Every time I’ve race through the Basque Country it’s been incredible with the fans, so I’m super happy to win in front of such enthusiastic crowds,” he said.
After riding in rain most of the afternoon the main pack of riders featuring world champion Julian Alaphilippe crossed the line at the giant horseshoe bay La Concha beach 1min 04sec adrift.
The race is the first major test in the build up to the Vuelta a Espana in two weeks time where Egan Bernal is tipped to complete a hat-trick of Grand Tour wins, the Colombian was in the mix on Saturday, ending 1min 09sec down on the day.
The irrepressible Annemiek van Vleuten won the women’s race earlier to add to her Olympic time trial gold from just three days ago.
“I was never in any trouble,” said the infectiously enthusiastic van Vleuten. “I didn’t know how the jet-lag would be but I wanted to win here for my team,” said van Vleuten who rides for the Spanish team Movistar, based in the Basque country.
#Klasikoa | 📺🚴♂️🇺🇸🏆 VICTORIA para el estadounidense Neilson Powless (@EFprocycling) en la Clásica San Sebastián 2021 🚴♂️🇺🇸🏆👏💪
📺 @rtve pic.twitter.com/fDQgyO7yEl
— Mundo Ciclístico (@mundociclistico) July 31, 2021