Saturday, August 1st, proved to be a memorable day in more ways than one for Adam Yates, who claimed his maiden World Tour victory in the 35th running of Clasica San Sebastian – Spain’s top one-day race – becoming the second youngest rider to win it. The 22-year-old, who is in his second pro year, was tipped for greatness for some time now, ever since finishing on the podium of the 2013 Tour de l’Avenir, a race in which few British riders have shined over the years. Coming at the start of the Classic less than a week after completing his debut Tour de France – where he got three top 10 placings – Yates was ranked among the contenders for the victory, but truth is not many were expecting him to fly on the Bordako Tortorra climb and take a solo win at the end.
That’s exactly what the Orice-GreenEdge rider has done: attacked on the ascent, built a small lead over his rivals and then increased the gap on the same descent he crashed last year, less than five kilometers before the finish. It was a day to remember not only due to his impressive performance, but also because of the confusion that ran in the closing kilometers, a consequence of the fact that there weren’t any live images from the road until the final minutes, when the riders had already crossed the last climb of the course.
This situation, as well as the noise of the crowd that prevented him from getting any info on the situation, led to Adam Yates arriving at the finish line without knowing he’s won, a thing which he found out from his soigneur. As soon as he realized what he has done, the young Brit began celebrating his biggest victory to date, one which confirmed once and for all his huge potential that recommends him at winning a Grand Tour in the following years, when he’s expected to be, alongside his twin brother Simon, the leader of maybe the finest generation of riders Britain has ever had.