“I am happy with how the race went today,” said Van Avermaet, who rode his Giant TCR Advanced SL with a CADEX WheelSystem and saddle to score his second podium finish and his sixth career top-10 here. “I think I did the race that I had to do, which was to try to survive on the climbs and then do a good sprint at the end of the day so I think that worked out pretty well. The new steep climb was hard, but I was able to survive it and I managed the race well. I was always in a good position and finished it off with second place which is a really good result at San Sebastián.”
Held each year following the Tour, San Sebastian features a hilly course with 5268 meters of climbing and seven categorized ascents. Early in the day, Van Avermaet’s teammate Josey Černy joined a breakaway that gained four minutes on the main field by the 60km mark.
The break began to falter over the Erlaitz, a new Cat. 1 climb for this year’s race, and CCC Team was well positioned for the final hill. American Joey Rosskopf helped lead Van Avermaet over the final climb, and his Belgian team leader took it from there.
“Sprinting after a long and hard race has always been one of my strong points,” said Van Avermaet. “It’s not come out as many times as I would have liked so far this year but, I still believe in it and I think that is also one of my strengths as a rider. Today, I was really counting on my sprint and we saw that I was able to have a good one at the end. While my sprint today wasn’t for first, it is important to always race for the best result possible.”