BAHRAIN MERIDA in a breakaway with Jon Ander Insausti at Clásica de San Sebastián
Saturday, 29th July 2017 – The toughest and longest Clásica de San Sebastián in the 37th year of its history finished in a gorgeous and crowded bay of San Sebastian.
231 kilometres long, Clásica de San Sebastián is played out on a route through the steep hills of the Basque Country. The course today passed eight climbs with the steep Murgil Tontorra as the last challenge. It’s a 2.5 kilometers climb with a gradient of 9% and the steepest ramp of 22%. And this climb, 7 km before the finish line, took away hopes for BAHRAIN MERIDA Team to share the podium with the best riders in the world.
The race started above expectations after our local rider from Basque country got the power and motivation from his family and friends, who came to support him today. Soon after the start, Jon went in the breakaway with 6 other riders and they were about 2,5 min ahead all the way to the last 50 km.
50km to go, the breakaway group joined peloton and only a few km before the finish line the race was determined. 10km to go riders split into 3 groups. Our riders, Gasparotto, Brajkovič and Insausti, were in the second group and worked hard for our today’s leader Gasparotto that had a significant chance to cross the finish line with the best riders. Unfortunately, Gasparotto lost some energy few meters before the top of the category 2 climb and in that moment lost a potential 6th place and finished 1,21 min after Michal Kwiatkowski (Team SKY) who won today’s race.
After the race, Jon Ander Insausti was excited and very satisfied with his performance and he told us: “The race was amazing. I raced at home, in front of my family and friends, for the first time. The crowd was amazing and I got goose bumps when I heard them calling me throughout the race. It was an amazing race for me and I am very satisfied with my performance.”
With a smile always on his face, Tsgabu Grmay was emotionally away today: “That was the last race before I will become a dad.” Tsgabu is expecting his first child with his beautiful wife back home in Ethiopia any day now. As he mentioned, they are expecting daughter and BAHRAIN MERIDA Team wishes him a lot of unforgettable moments with their baby.
Photos: MIWA Iijima