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PCM.daily » PCM.daily's Management Game » [Man-Game] General
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Clasica San Sebastian Discussion

We're in the Basque Country for another edition of the Clasica San Sebastian. It's a very long, very hard puncheur's race with a flat (slightly downhill) finish. Traditionally, as we saw last year, the gaps can be quite high compared to Ardennes type classics. Riders can't afford to wait for an uphill sprint, and the long length makes it a real test of endurance.

Puncheurs pretty much always win this race, so let's take a look at the very long list of top puncheurs here. It's a PTHC race, and pretty much everyone in this band has sent their top puncheurs, so the field is absolutely stacked.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/aeg.png De Bie718477767275
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/afk.png Hagen698480737278
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mos.png Sagan748378747376
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rak.png Kinoshita728380776877
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/evo.png Skujins708380776876
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/iso.png Mohoric718378726777
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/eav.png Van Garderen728278757079
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/ino.png Bakelants738278757175
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/min.png Claeys668272666671
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/akm.png Kwiatkowski788174766775
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/fes.png Koretzky718177707179
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/eav.png Gastauer708177696675
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/adp.png Ulissi668083717475
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/isa.png Vakoc718075717174
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bgc.png Paulinho758070726875
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/p4e.png Prevar718077706773
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mol.png Waeytens718072706673
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/tti.png Vogt628078716263
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gzl.png Formolo797976766971
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/azt.png Chaves767974736072
pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/des.png Yates707977707780

It's hard to pick out true favorites here because so many of the leaders are so similar - great puncheurs with a lot of stamina and a good acceleration. Two former winners are here: pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/rak.png Kinoshita, who defeated Ion Izagirre in two-up sprint last year, and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/afk.png Hagen, who dispatched of Tejay Van Garderen in a similar way back in 2017. While the latter has declined slightly since then, both of these guys will definitely be contesting the win again this year.

pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/aeg.png De Bie, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/mos.png Sagan, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/evo.png Skujins, and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/iso.png Mohoric are all very similar riders who could win here on any given day. They like the long races and short, steep climbs. The first two have a little more speed in a sprint, so maybe they can afford to follow wheels more, but the differences in finishing speed will be slight and maybe inconsequential after 230+ kms of hard racing.

Just a slight step below we have another tier, although such distinctions are arbitrary. EA Vesuvio bring two aging superstars in pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/eav.png Van Garderen and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/eav.png Gastauer. Hopefully for them, at least one will have a great day and have a chance at victory, or at least a good placing. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/ino.png Bakelants will be giving it probably his last shot at winning here too, while pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/fes.png Koretzky should have a few more, but isn't quite with the best of the best.

Several riders will be hoping to capitalize on the longer climbs mid-race and take advantage of the pure puncheurs weakness there. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/akm.png Michal Kwiatkowski is the flag-bearer for this type of rider, and the fact that he's a fantastic puncheur as well should mean he's a potential winner - as evidenced by his two previous top 5's. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/bgc.png Paulinho, pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/gzl.png Formolo, and pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/azt.png Chaves will be trying similar tactics, along with a bunch of lesser puncheurs that will likely act as foils for their leaders - pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/fes.png Boily, for instance.

The remaining puncheurs on the list above all have some weaknesses that might hold them back as the race gets tough, likely in their intangibles and endurance factors. Nevertheless, they can still make significant differences on a good day if the race isn't too grueling from the beginning, so they must be watched. pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/adp.png Ulissi in particular lasts very long into races and has a good kick, it's just a matter of staying with the favorites long enough.

Quick shoutout to pcmdaily.com/images/mg/2020/Micros/des.png Simon Yates, who is undoubtedly the best sprinter of the puncheurs. We haven't seen a real group sprint here since 2015, so his chances are probably small. But, if it does come down to a reduced sprint and he looks fresh, he should instantly become the favorite.

Almost need the win here...de Bie still has half his season left but after two Groenewegen 0 pointers in sprinter classics in a row, pressure already is high on De Bie.

On paper a race he should be able to win but I am afraid a bigger group finished together, where he sprints for 10th only.

His support is good with Zardini, Stuyven, Carboni mainly.

Looking forward to the race.
Not even on the favourites list, this could be painful.
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
Claeys is not having a great season, and I don't expect much better here. Still, I'd like to be surprised Smile
Manager of Minions
Quite fitting to see Skujins and Mohoric directly underneath each other in the favourite list as one of the main goals is to outscore Isostar here. Obviously a top 5 would be good in general to put some pressure on the other teams close to the top.

Not bringing Lopez is a bit of a risk but i figured the final kilometers wouldnt be a perfect fit for either of them and i suspected the startlist would be harder than in another hilly PTHC classic.

Outside of my own team, i look very closely at what Kwiatek will do. Both in terms of the relegation fight but also as a measurement of what might have been if Lopez would be here.
A Big Thank You To All MG Reporters!
And To All Who Organize Something On Daily As Well!

Kinoshita will need to go on a solo move here as he has no sprint over the other favourites. I will be cautiously optimistic, but I think Kinoshita while on paper may be a favourite will be looking at only the back end of the Top 10 here.
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I hope that Mohoric and Calmejane (watch out for him if there's a reduced bunch sprint) will be a good combo, and that we can outscore Evonik, Puma & Festina here.
Hope that De Bie can silence his critics and take a bit win here. Will be ecstatic if Bakelandts finishes inside the top 80.
Indosat - ANZ HQ

"This Schleck sandwich is going to cause serious indigestion for Evans" - Phil Liggett
Big race for many teams, both in the title race and around the relegation places. Should be a good one to follow!
Luis Leon Sanchez
An opportunity for a season-changing moment here for Ulissi but it won’t be easy by any means. We’ll hope for the best!
I'm just here so I don't get fined Pfft

I hope Mohoric can finally get a big result Smile

Thanks for picking up this race bbl Smile


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
With this competition it will be difficult to get a great result yet I hope that at least Paulinho will be able to fight for a place in the top 10
pcmdaily.com/files/Micros17/bgc.pngManager of Berg Cyclespcmdaily.com/files/Micros17/bgc.png
I have been lowkey eyeing this race as a chance for a surprise result ever since choosing HC bands, so let's find out how disappointed I can be after it!

We have one opportunity and one opportunity only, and that is banking on a fast, but uneventful race over the tough middle third of the race.
Arndt needs high tempo over the long climbs to use his mountain skills, and no attacks over the short hills to not fall victim to the puncheurs forcing gaps.

Of course, first of all we need the AI to be somewhat kind to us regarding positioning for a change to have any chance of capitalizing on those things.
But if we somehow manage to make that happen and there's a larger group finishing, it could be a good race for us!

Stüssi and Vasyliv are here to shine through consistency if the race goes our way, and ideally we can get one of the likes of Doubey, Egger or Helme into the break to help them overperform in the end if the break gets caught late.
I sent Yates here because I figured there was enough climbing early on to drop the pure puncheurs, but looking at how similar races this season have gone so far I expect a reduced sprint. Turgis, Bettiol and Guerreiro are useless in a field this strong, so just have to hope for some depth scoring really.
Ulrich Ulriksen
jph27 wrote:
I sent Yates here because I figured there was enough climbing early on to drop the pure puncheurs, but looking at how similar races this season have gone so far I expect a reduced sprint. Turgis, Bettiol and Guerreiro are useless in a field this strong, so just have to hope for some depth scoring really.

Do you consider 2nd "depth scoring"? Adam decided to focus his efforts today on celebrating his brother.
Man Game: McCormick Pro Cycling
Ah to be a PCT team beating PT teams. Hopefully I'll be in the same boat next year.

Thanks bbl for a great report!
Luis Leon Sanchez
Thank you bbl for the report!

In the end, 5th is a very good result given how Ulissi has been throughout the season. I can’t help but feel that he would have been up there for a win if it came down to a sprint but we’ll take the 5th and hope it inspires the team in the final races of the season.
Meh, I thought we would at least go in the breakaway.

I really don't like this new profile to make it more of a sprinter's type race. I probably at least made the right decision not sending Beltran here, because it probably wouldn't have suited him.

Thanks for the reports bbl Smile


"I am a cyclist, I may not be the best, but that is what I strive to be. I may never get there, but I will never quit trying." - Tadej Pogačar
It's entirely pointless. I just have to give up on puncheur races altogether, 8 breakaway riders it is.

Can't even contest the Top 30 when there are plenty of spots left available for free from that second group, which would at least have been something. 71 sprint are useless when you don't care.

Thanks BBL, and at least nobody relevant scored well.
Well, at least we beat Waeytens Pfft
Changed my sig, this was getting absurd.
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