Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa 2023

With a change in the route compared to the last two editions, as they have brought Mendizorrotz back again. Overall, it does not change much.


As mentioned, more or less the same as last year. They’ve added Mendizorrotz which is just a longer version of Murguil.

Erlaitz is where the fun begins. Evenepoel was faster than anyone here last season, by a large margin.

Mendizorrotz and Col de Murgil (the steep part) is the same climb. The first time over Mendizorrotz, the turn left to do another ascent. The second time over the climb, they turn right towards the finish.


Should stay dry and not too warm.

How will the race unfold?

Where did the main move go in the past?

Erlaitz is the most important climb. This is where we in the past few seasons have seen the first moves go. Carr in 2021 dropping Yates and a quartet caught him. Evenepoel in 2022, dropping everyone and soloing 44.5 km. Why is it the best spot? Many team leaders are isolated afterwards, and usually it is the group in front cooperating and not the second group, who often wait for the domestiques to get back on.

The last one is the Murgil – Tontorra. In the past we’ve seen a lot of main moves being made there too but the recent development is attacking earlier. It is fairly similar to Côte de Pike (TdF 2023, Stage 1), a short and brutal climb with a descend almost to the line.

We will see the first move on Erlaitz – I assume from Evenepoel himself. Then, the rest of the contenders will see who can follow. Once over the top, I potentially see only two riders being able to follow Evenepoel but that is not a guarentee. We’ve seen he is not shy from putting on a show.

Another note is the “Tour-de-France factor”. Will five rest days give the GC men from there some extra power? It should do if they finished on a high note.


Evenepoel – starts as the big favorite. He is world class on these type of climbs, the short and steep gradients. He has a fantastic team to support him too, meaning they can decide to set up an attack whenever they want. If I know Evenepoel correctly, he moves on Jaizkibel.

Ayuso – had a crash the other day, but luckily just bruised up. He does not have a lot of experience in long one-day classics races against this sort of field but can only imagine him to do well. Hopefully, he has fully recovered and can challenge Remco.

S. Yates – he finished the Tour de France on a high note and back in 2021, he was the only one being able to follow the Belgian for a short time. I think it will be difficult for him to win but I do see him as a podium contender.

Healy – some breakthrough. The spring proved he can challenge for San Sebastian already this season. The team is strong, I think they will look to use multiple cards. Personally, I would not. See if Healy can follow the best, otherwise organize a strong chase.

Bilbao – finished the Tour de France well too. Bahrain is opting for him but short, steep climbs are not what comes to my mind, when I think of Bilbao. I think a top-10 is most likely.

Rodriguez – he did not finish the Tour de France off to strongly, but he is a solid one-day racer. You never know how he will respond after a few rest days, my guess is as good as your. I see him finishing in the top-10.

Benoot – I think he looked fantastic late in the Tour de France. He is more of a big classics rider compared to the rest but it is rare Jumbo-Visma go home without a good result.

Gall – I have no idea how well he goes in a one day race but one thing is for certain, he is among the best climbers. That means he should be able to follow the first attacks and hopefully have his best descent after Murgil to make him a contender for the win.

Mollema – Mr. San Sebastian. His history here speaks for himself, another top-10 for the collection.

Vlasov – late addition to the start list. He has not had the best season and ultimately he had to leave Giro d’Italia and have not raced since. Hopefully, he turns it around in the second half of the year, he is a fine classics rider.


⭐⭐⭐⭐ Evenepoel
⭐⭐⭐ Healy, Ayuso
⭐⭐ Vlasov, S. Yates, Rodriguez
⭐ Bilbao, Benoot, Mollema, Gall

Who will win?

I will take a win for Remco Evenepoel.

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