The Clàsica calls and Mollema responds

Bauke finishes fourth in San Sebastiàn, a record 10th consecutive top-10 in the Spanish race

The chemistry between Bauke Mollema and the Clàsica San Sebastiàn is well known. Once again, in the 2022 edition, the Dutchman left his mark on the race, finishing fourth.

Toms Skujins and Mattias Skjelmose finished in 7th and 8th respectively, completing a very good team performance.

The Clàsica, for the course, the location and the fans, is the race I like most in the calendar. My form is always good in this moment of the season. These two factors together always allow me to perform really well - Bauke said

To confirm, the numbers say everything: in 11 editions, only once (a DNF in 2009) did Bauke miss a top-10 placing. From 2012 onward, the results have been impressive with one win (2016), three podiums and three top fives.

“Ten consecutive top-10 is a good way to celebrate my feeling with the Clàsica. Today, I knew I could do well again. I finished the Tour de France with good condition, and I felt from the first kilometers today that the feeling was good. Compared to the past, it was a different race. We used to have the key moment of the race on the last steep climb, the Murgil, but today the race exploded 45kms from the finish.”

Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa 2022 - 42nd Edition - San Sebastian - San Sebastian 224,8 km - 30/07/2022 - Bauke Mollema (NED - Trek - Segafredo) - photo Rafa Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa 2022 - 42nd Edition - San Sebastian - San Sebastian 224,8 km - 30/07/2022 - Toms Skujins (LAT - Trek - Segafredo) - Mattias Skjelmose Jensen (DEN - Trek - Segafredo) - photo Rafa Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

The moment Bauke mentioned corresponds to Remco Evenepoel’s attack, which came on the Erlaitz climb. The first part of the race was animated by a breakaway of eight riders, caught at 60kms to go. The action of the Belgian split the peloton and made the decisive selection. From there on it was a test of endurance.

“Remco’s attack made the finish very hard. I tried to manage my strength to be able, at least, to race for the podium. I think the tactic was correct. Unfortunately, in the descent from Erlaitz the TV motorbike that was in front of our chase group, in which there was me, Yates, Benoot, Rodriguez and Sivakov, was too close and allowed an attack of the first two. Simon, Tiesj, and I were not able to close immediately, and we found ourselves chasing, with additional fatigue. I think this prevented me from fully fighting for the podium, but that’s how it went. On the last climb, Benoot found the right moment to attack and Rodriguez lost contact with Sivakov. I was able to drop Yates and then I sprinted with Rodriguez to be fourth.”

“I don’t have any regrets, I did my best, except maybe following Rodriguez and Sivakov’s wheel on the descent from Erlaitz,” Bauke added smiling, to conclude his race analysis.

Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa 2022 - 42nd Edition - San Sebastian - San Sebastian 224,8 km - 30/07/2022 - Scenery - Peloton - photo Rafa Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

His next few weeks will be dedicated to rest. “I will take a two-week break and then I’ll start training for the season finale. I will return to racing at the end of August, at Deutschland Tour, aiming also for a call for the Worlds. Then again, I’ll be in Italy for the Autumn races”

About the Worlds, the question for many after Bauke’s latest exploits in time trials (4th at the Giro, winning the National Champs, and 6th at the Tour) will be: is Bauke aiming for the road race or time trial?

“Well, I won’t hide that I would gladly race both, but let’s respect the roles and leave the choices to the team director.”