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With a powerful attack on the final climb, Yates soloed to victory in the Klasika Ordizia, arriving with a 34-second advantage over four chasers; Madrazo beat Vdovin in the sprint for second

Photo: A.S.O.








25.07.2016 @ 18:32 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Simon Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) bounced back from his suspension in the most beautiful manner by claiming his first win as a professional at the Prueba Villafrance- Ordiziako Klasika. The Brit powered clear of the peloton on the final climb and soloed to victory in Ordizia with a 36-second advantage over a four-rider chase group. Angel Madrazo (Caja Rural) beat Alexander Vdovin (Lokosphinx) in the sprint for second.


When he turned professional, Simon Yates was widely regarded as the most talented of the Yates brothers. Despite numerous top 10 results in WorldTour stage races, he has been overshadowed by his brother Adam who has won the Clasica San Sebastian and recently finished fourth and won the white jersey at the Tour de France.


Things didn’t get any easier for Simon when an administrative error from his team cost him a short suspension due to a positive test for an asthma medication and as a consequence he had to watch from the sidelines while Adam excelled in France. However, he has always continued his training and was keen to shine right from his first race after his return.


Yates first line out for the Tour de Pologne but like so many others he suffered in the cold conditions. Today he proved that he is ready for a great Vuelta by claiming victory in the traditional warm-up race for the Clasica San Sebastian, the hilly Prueba Villafranca-Klasika Ordiziako.


The 93rd edition of Spain’s oldest one-day race Prueba Villafrance-Ordiziako Klasika was held of a 165.7km course that started and finished in Ordizia. First the riders did three laps of a 31.4km circuit that had a flat start and then included the main feature of the race, the Alto de Abaltzisketa (3km, 7.5%). The second part of the race consisted of two laps of a modified 35.6km circuit. It was almost unchanged but just before they went up the main climb, the riders tackled the Alto de Altzo (2.64km, 5.6%). The tops came with 20.7km and 10.6km to go respectively and from the final summit it was a downhill run to the final 2km which were flat.


It was sunny day in Spain when the riders gathered for the start and they got it off to a fast and aggressive beginning. No one had escaped after the first lap but after the early attacks, a group with Carlos Barbero (Caja Rural), Christian Meier (Orica-BikeExchange), Francesco Gavazzi (Androni), Jose Herrada (Movistar), Roland Thalmann (Roth), Mikel Iturria (Euskadi), Ibai Sala (Burgos), Yeison Chaparro (Boyaca) and Yecid Sierra (Manzana) managed to escape. They had an advantage of 4.30 at the 45km mark.


The front group worked well together but the peloton slowly accelerated and as they hit the main climb for the third time, the gap was down to 3 minutes. Delko-Marseille and Orica-BikeExchange were doing the work in the main group but they were not chasing hard yet, allowing the gap to go back out to 4 minutes.


Going up the climb again, Thalmann started to suffer and later Barbero also fell off. With their teammate, no longer in the break, Caja Rural accelerated hard and reduced the gap to one minute as they hit the climb for the penultimate time. Gavazzi was first at the top but the peloton was breathing down their necks.


Hector Saez was chasing hard for Caja Rural and even though Gavazzi and Herrada tried to attack again, it all came back together as they approached the key climb for the final time. Damien Howson (Orica-BikeExchange) made a solo move and managed to build an advantage of 20 seconds as he hit the first of the two climbs in the finale.


Hugh Carthy (Caja Rural) bridged across to Howson but they were unable to hold off the peloton. Instead,, Yates made his move on the final and built an advantage of 12 seconds before Angel Madrazo and Javier Moreno gave chase. He reached the top with an advantage of 40 seconds over the small peloton, with the two chasers being stuck in between.


Yates didn’t look back and pushed his advantage out to 44 seconds before he sat up to celebrate his win in Ordizia. David Belda (Roth) and Alexander Vdovin joined the two chasers in the finale before  Madrazo beat the Russian in the sprint for second. Carthy made a late attack to take sixth and Karol Domagalski (ONE) won the sprint for seventh, 46 seconds behind Yates.


With the Klasika Ordizia done and dusted, the attention turns to the biggest race in this racing block, the WorldTour race Clasica San Sebastian which takes place on Saturday.



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