CCC-Liv split the team between two important races in Europe Saturday, racing in both the RideLondon Classic and Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa. It was Pauliena Rooijakkers’ day in Spain, outsprinting the chase group to finish on the podium in third. Meanwhile, in London, Evy Kuijpers and Marianne Vos lead the team with a second in the sprint classification and a sixth-place finish.
The Clasica de San Sebastian has been held every summer since 1981 in San Sebastian, Spain, but 2019 marked the inaugural women’s edition: Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa. The 127km race included a few difficult climbs, including the Jaizkibel – the longest of the day at the 40km mark. After the summit, Rooijakkers and Inge van der Heijden successfully made it into the breakaway group of twelve, setting out to chase down two early leaders. With a substantial gap on the rest of the pack, Rooijakkers and van der Heijden worked together to achieve the best result. On the final, steep climb up Murgil Tontorra, Rooijakkers made her move to separate herself from the rest of the breakaway group. Two riders had gotten away by the top of the 10.1% grade climb, but Rooijakkers was part of a group three just behind with 9km left to go. At the line, she would go fastest to secure the final spot on the podium aboard the Liv Langma Advanced SL.
“The race took a different turn than we had expected beforehand,” said sports director Eric van den Boom. “Pauliena and Inge did fantastically well in the leading group. With a third place we achieved the maximum today.”
European Championships begin Wednesday in the Netherlands, with CCC-Liv athletes racing Thursday for the time trial championship and Saturday on the road.