Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) has abandoned the Clásica San Sebastián, his first race following the Tour de France 2019.
The Frenchman abandoned with around 80km raced and 147km remaining, just after the third category climb to Alkiza, the third climb of the day.
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Alaphilippe was the favourite at the start of the day to defend his title, having beaten Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) in a sprint finish at the 2018 edition of the race.
The reason for Alaphilippe’s abandon is not yet known, and may allow his young Belgian team-mate Remco Evenepoel the opportunity to take the race on, with Deceuninck – Quick-Step arriving in San Sebastian with a strong line-up including Dries Devenyns and Enric Mas.
Earlier in the race, Ineos’ David de la Cruz also abandoned, with the British outfit taking Egan Bernal, Jonathan Castroviejo and Wout Poels to the Spanish race, coming off the back of the Tour de France.
The remaining favourites to take the victory include Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), the Brit having recently taken two Tour stage wins.
Updates to follow…