Remco Evenepoel dreams of reaching Lejarreta (1981, 1982 and 1987) in the San Sebastián Clásica and forming a three-time champion duo in the San Sebastián event. After winning the 2019 and 2022 editions, the Belgian wants to repeat for the second consecutive year and put his name in gold letters on the list of winners of the most important event after the Tour. “It’s an extra motivation, I love this race”, he was dispatched yesterday in the presentation of the teams.
He is the second classified overall in the WorldTour, in which this Clásica falls, but In no case will he be able to assault the first position, in the hands of the absent Pogacar. The Belgian wants to successfully face the defense of his title in La Vuelta. He has not competed since June 25, when he was proclaimed champion of his country on the road. The Aalst runner, based in Alicante, has been recognizing these days one of the unprecedented ports of the Spanish round, the Cruz de Linares, and even attended the friendly between Burgos and Leonesa. It is already known that he is passionate about football.
But the bunch of stars that are going to take the start will not make it easy, with cyclists who have come from fighting in the Tour and others who are finalizing their preparation for La Vuelta, which starts on August 26, or the Glasgow World Cup on day 5. Those who come from France try to stretch their form before the overtaking of the world event. In front, the navy Spanish, with Carlos Rodríguez, Mikel Landa, Juan Ayuso, Omar Fraile, Ion Izagirre and Pello Bilbao. These last two are very fresh about the tribute that their countrymen have paid them these days for their stage victories in France, an impulse that relaunches their engine even more to be prophets in their land. Lazkano loses it after his fall in Ordizia.
Ayuso debuted the WorldTour two years ago with this test: “I have the same illusion as then. I remember that day, it was very special, I fulfilled a dream. To this day I am still very grateful for being able to enjoy it. I want to improve what I’ve done and go all out”. In 2022 it took over the Getxo Circuit, very close to Donostia. “Although I have won several races, I still have the same ambition.” In the third Clásica he is seen with the strength of his premiere. “There are riders who come very strong, for example those who are preparing for the Vuelta like me.” This edition cites other Klasikoa winners in the past such as Nelson Powless and Tony Gallopin. Also Alaphilippe, one of the bullets that has the Quick-Step in its chamber, as well as Evenepoel.
La Clásica changes its route, returns to that of 2019, precisely one that Remco scored. It registers seven ports in its 230 kilometres, and a finish in which the second-category climb to Murgil can be the definitive sieve, although nowadays the races add shades of madness, epic and maximum acceleration, and you never know. Its summit is located 8 kilometers from the finish line. In turn, the port of Erlaitz, decisive in the previous edition, moves away from the finish line: there Evenepoel forged his triumph. In 2022, from the top to the finish line, 43 kilometers had to be covered and now there are 73. The world champion launched a full-fledged attack and emerged victorious; now this tactic takes on much more epic overtones.