Simon Yates continues his run of strong performances with second place in Circuito de Getxo

Sun 31 Jul 2016

Fresh from his win in Prueba Villafranca-Ordiziako Klasika this week and yesterday's top ten finish in San Sebastian, Simon Yates continued his string of solid performances to finish second in today's one-day race, Circuito de Getxo.

Previously the race finished at the base of the 700metre ascent that the riders tackle on each of the ten laps. However this year, in the 71st edition of the race, it transformed into a battle between the climbers with a hill top finish. 

ORICA-BikeExchange were well represented throughout the race with sprint star Caleb Ewan in an early move, followed by Yates and Amets Txurruka eventually joining the day's winning breakaway group which established in the final three laps of the race.

Yates challenged for the victory pushing all the way to the line with Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida), but in the final metres Ulissi proved too strong, edging out the British rider to claim the victory. 

"We are really happy with the result," explained sport director Dave McPartland. "Tactically the team did everything well and in the end Simon was beaten in the sprint, but coming straight from the race yesterday we have to be pleased with this."

"During the race he said he wasn't feeling good and even when he was in the breakaway he said he still wasn't feeling that great. It wasn't a surprise after the effort he put in yesterday, a six-hour race and without coming from any stage racing.

With wet roads, some tired legs and a technical circuit the race was well animated with numerous attacks and crashes.

"The circuit was like a kermesse today," continued McPartland. "With many corners, roundabouts and with wet roads there were a few crashes. Jack Haig and Luka Mezgec went down but luckily they were ok."

"Caleb did a good job getting into the early move. It wasn't planned but it was good in the end that he was in there as it enabled the guys who came from San Sebastain yesterday to ride themselves into the race and take the pressure off a little. 

"In the final, Amets did a lot of work to bring in the rider on the final lap and this set up Simon well. It kept the race controlled without all the stop starting in the group and then came down to a race into the final corner and all the way up to the line." 

How it happened:

The teams arrived in the town of Getxo ready for 17 laps of a 10km circuit in rainy conditions. With a 700metre climb to ascend each lap the riders had enough time to look over and prepare for the final with the line at the very top of the climb.

Within the first lap a group of nine riders led the race with Ewan in there representing ORICA-BikeExchange. The escapees rode out to a two minute 40 advantage before the peloton began close in on them with the wearing down process of the climb each lap beginning to tire the legs.

The leaders returned to the peloton and a number of attacks followed which created a new promising move with 14 riders including talented ORICA-BikeExchange climbers, Yates and Txurruka.

Coming into the final lap the group had grown to 16 riders after two riders successfully bridged across. The leaders maintained an advantage of over three minutes and it looked clear that the group would successfully stay away.

One rider from Movistar tried to break clear on the final lap but with the help of Lampre-Merida, Txurruka reeled him back in, setting up Yates for the final climb to the finish line.

In the end, Ulissi had the fresher legs to sprint ahead to the victory with Yates finishing in a well fought out second place.

Circuito de Getxo result (31st July):

1. Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) 3:58:44
2. Simon Yates (ORICA-BikeExchange) +0:01
3. José Herrada (Movistar) ST