Benoot and Van Hooydonck prove themselves at Clasica San Sebastian
Tiesj Benoot has finished in the top ten for the second year in a row at the Clasica San Sebastian. The 29-year-old Belgian of Team Jumbo-Visma could not keep up with the favourites on the Erleitz and sprinted to tenth place in a chasing group. Nathan Van Hooydonck was part of the breakaway that marked the race.
The 42nd edition of the Basque one-day race started in San Sebastian, where the riders also finished after 230 kilometres. Van Hooydonck was part of the breakaway, and together with his four escape companions, he took a five-minute lead. Remco Evenepoel, Pello Bilbao, Alberto Bettiol and Aleksandr Vlasov joined them on the Erleitz, one of seven climbs.
Van Hooydonck held on for a long time but had to let go of the favourites on the steep Mendizor rock. Moments later, the Belgian did useful work for Benoot, who finished tenth in the sprint from a reduced peloton. "We can be happy with that. It was the best possible result", sports director Arthur van Dongen said.
"To be in the top ten for the second consecutive year shows that this race suits him"
"Tiesj said afterwards that he felt good, but being able to go with the favourites, means he had to be super strong. Unfortunately, he couldn't go with us when Remco attacked. In such a tough WorldTour race, the legs decide; it's as simple as that. Nevertheless, he was still in contention for sixth place. To be in the top ten for the second consecutive year shows that this race suits him."
Van Dongen was equally impressed by Van Hooydonck. "Nathan rode a very strong race. He was where he needed to be and jumped with the lead group to support Tiesj from there. Until the last ten kilometres, he worked hard for Tiesj. Both showed that they are ready for the World Championships.”