Tactical precision amongst the chaos of Basque cycling fans was the order of the day at Clásica San Sebastián, as Neilson Powless pulled off a fantastic victory for EF Education - Nippo.
Key to this win was Brit Simon Carr, in his debut WorldTour season, who dropped Mikel Landa and set off up the road to alley-oop Powless' charge from behind.
The American could simply sit on the chase group as Matej Mohorič worked to drag Carr back, Powless saving his legs for the sprint finish where he just edged out the Slovenian.
"Yeah, it was a hard race and my job was to cover the moves over that penultimate climb. But in the end, as the race had been really hard, we decided just to move ourselves," Carr explained to Cycling Weekly after the finish. "I had good legs there and then Nielsen was able to come across and not do too much work in the group behind while they were catching me.
"And then from there, I knew I was pretty cooked, just at the maximum in that group of five riders. And then Nielsen was strong on that final climb. I was caught in the chasing group. But yeah, he finished off at the end, so a good day."
Carr said there didn't have to be any discussion between the two team-mates of what needed doing once they were together up the road, Powless taking the baton and running with it all the way to the top step of the podium, and Carr was under no impression that he could have taken the win instead today.
"Not really because I knew the run-in was really long between the two climbs. Maybe if it was a bit more hilly in the final. The hills closer together, I would have been closer. But yeah, in the end, we still won. So it's a good day. There was a lot of fans, really deafening, it was pretty incredible."
The Brit's debut season in the top tier is going swimmingly, 11th at Strade Bianche, a Giro d'Italia debut Grand Tour, and eighth in the Mont Ventoux challenge before today's outing.
"I had a bit of an up and down Giro, but I felt it really brought me along. Going into second part of the season I think I've done some good work. Just missing a bit of racing, good legs, but today is definitely a good showing for a first race back."
Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Owen Rogers is an experienced journalist, covering professional cycling and specialising in women's road racing. He has followed races such as the Women's Tour and Giro d'Italia Donne, live-tweeting from Women's WorldTour events as well as providing race reports, interviews, analysis and news stories. He has also worked for race teams, to provide post race reports and communications.
8 common issues faced by smaller adult cyclists – and a bike fitter’s advice on how to overcome them
From frame size to stance width, crank length to brake levers – stock setups are stacked against smaller cyclists, but there are ways to get a better fit
By Nicole Oh • Published
Wahoo Christmas Sales discounts on Kickr V5 smart trainer, Kickr Bike 1.0 and V1 Elemnt Roam bike computer
Wahoo have continued to reduce prices on some of its best known products, offering big savings during the Christmas period
By Paul Norman • Published