ORICA-SCOTT return to the scene of former glory at San Sebastian

Wed 26 Jul 2017

The best young rider of the 2017 Tour de France Simon Yates will make an immediate return to racing this Saturday at the 37th Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian as ORICA-SCOTT look to start their next period of racing with a bang.

Yates will be hoping to carry his Grand Tour form into the prestigious one-day WorldTour race held around the spectacular coastline of the Basque Country region and emulate twin brother Adam who won here in 2015.

An experienced squad rich with strength in depth will support Yates with young Spanish climber Carlos Verona and the former Czech champion Roman Kreuziger set to be key allies in this hilly one-day classic.

“This is always a tough and aggressive race,” said sport director Neil Stephens. “Historically riders who have done well here in the past have come directly off a solid block of racing at the Tour de France and we are hoping that this year will prove to be no different. We are going all out for Simon and aiming for that top step.”

“Simon did fantastically well at the Tour and showed his credentials as one of the top young GC riders in the world, however we know what it takes to win here and at 230kilometres it’s a long race with a hard parcours. With tough ramps coming before you hit the Alto de Jaizkibel with around 20kilometres to go.

“The team support will be vitally important on Saturday and we are going into the race looking to give it our best shot. If we go down after giving it everything then that’s ok, but we want to succeed and we will give everything to try and achieve that.”

Belgian Jens Keuekeleire has enjoyed a great season so far with excellent results in the classics period and a strong victory at the Tour of Belgium racing for the Belgian national team, Keuekeleire also comes straight into the team direct from the Tour de France.

Keuekeleire will be joined by former Liege-Bastogne-Liege winner Simon Gerrans and Swiss puncheur Michael Albasini with the indefatigable Chris Juul Jesnen completing the line up alongside veteran Canadian Svein Tuft.

“It’s a really strong team we’ve got going into this race,” continued Stephens. “Half of the guys are coming in strong on the back of the Tour and the other guys from Ordizia and we are ready for some hard racing.”

“The guys will have to be alert and stay switched on the entire race, it’s a very strong and competitive field that we will be up against, but we are an ambitious team and we are developing all the time. I’m sure it will be an exciting race and come Saturday we will be ready.”

Usually a hard fought and aggressive race that favours the strong climbers and puncheurs that have the ability to position themselves well to tackle what is often the race deciding second ascent of the Alto de Jaizkibel.

Coming after over 200kilometres of hard, undulating racing the last passage of the Jaizkibel normally sees a selection of favourites slip away to contest the race win and will be the point of significance in Saturdays race.

ORICA-SCOTT at Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian (Saturday, 29th July):

Michael Albasini (SUI, 36)

Simon Gerrans (AUS, 37)

Chris Juul Jensen (DEN, 28)

Jens Keukeleire (BEL, 28)

Roman Kreuziger (CZ, 31)

Svein Tuft (CAN, 40)

Carlos Verona (ESP, 24)

Simon Yates (GB, 24)

Photos courtesy of ©