Julian Alaphilippe’s (Quickstep-Floors) fine run of form continued as he won the Clasica San Sebastian today from a two-rider sprint with Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo). Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ) brought home the first chase group to secure 3rd.
It was another tough edition of the Clasica San Sebastian today with our African Team in the mix throughout the 230km race. A 7-rider break animated the early part of the days proceedings but the tough parcours would ensure the main favourites came to the fore in the final 60km of the stage.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka was well poised with Ben King, Igor Anton, Louis Meintjes, Merhawi Kudus and Tom-Jelte Slagter all still part of the main group after the 2nd ascent of the Jaizkibel climb. On the penultimate climb of the race, it rained attacks from the peloton and King and Anton were privy to them all.
At one stage King and Anton found themselves in a 6 rider move with 28km to go, but the peloton quickly closed them down. A few more attacks followed on the run to the final climb of the race and again King was able to follow them all. Our American was clearly on a good day until his luck made a total 360 turn.
With 20km to go King momentarily looked over his shoulder while at the head of the peloton to spot Kudus, Meintjes and Anton when the LottoNL-Jumbo team moved passed him. Accidentally clipping the rear wheel of the Lotto rider, King was sent crashing to the ground, with a mass pile-up occurring in the group as a result. After the crash our African Team was left with only Anton and Meintjes in the lead group.
On the left hand turn into the final climb, there was yet another crash, and this time Meintjes was caught behind it, leaving just Anton in contention for the finale. Our Basque rider tried to match the attacks on the final climb but Alaphilippe and Mollema were too strong for everyone else on.
The duo rode away to duke out the race victory with the Frenchman securing the victory after a superior sprint. Anton fought all the way to the line to bring home 14th place for us on the day.