Gallopin Storms San Sebastian

Obviously not a photo from today. - Doug Pensinger

Frenchman celebrates his biggest day with solo attack in Basque country

Radioshack-Trek's Tony Gallopin shocked the home teams Movistar and Euskaltel with a solo attack over the Arkala climb and a powerful gallop home to the line to win the Donostia Klasikoa, the Clasica San Sebastian. The 25-year-old Frenchman, who is coming off a difficult Tour de France, earned his biggest-ever victory in his young career, bagging a much-needed World Tour event for his squad, and he did it in the best possible way. Alone, in his debut at the race.

Movistar were the big movers, as expected (and practically required), controlling the main peloton heading into the second climb of the Jaizkibel and launching a two-man attack with Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde, which left a lot of riders scrambling. Eventually a dozen or so riders made contact, as Quintana reeled in the remaining breaks, and a second group headed by Belkin and Bauke Mollema remained in contention. On the Arkala, however, Gallopin got away, and only five riders remained to chase: Valverde, the Euskaltel duo of Nieve and Landa, and the Saxo-Tinkoff pair of Roche and Kreuziger.

Coming down the Arkala rain made things a bit tricky for Gallopin, who could be seen descending gingerly over wet paint strips and tight corners, but in the end he played his cards well, staying upright, not conceding much time, and emerging with a gap that hovered between 18 and 25 seconds until the final km, when the five chasers began racing for second. Valverde took the sprint over Kreuziger, follwed by Roche and Nieve, as Landa dropped back.

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