Classica San Sebastian
Classica San Sebastian, or “The Donastia-Donastia Klasikoa” is held since 1981. The race passes through beautiful environments with a mix between nature and costal areas. Often you can catch glimps of the ocean. To ride this race I downloaded the GPX track of the woman’s race of 2021. Credits to Annemiek van Vleuten, who won the 2021 edition. The race is around 145 kilometer long and has 2100 altitude meters.
Link to our Strava track
We started from the parking lot at the university, you can park there a whole day long for 2 or 3 euros. In the beginning we had to get used to the biking lanes. They are at one side of the road and we had to switch a few times. We saw few cyclists riding on the road, which seem to be normal, so we started to do this as well. The cars seem to be used to this. It made our road easier. It’s only in the beginning and at the end you are in the centre, for the rest, you are mostly in nature. Another challenge we had is that to our impression we had to take some bigger roads. First we were afraid they were not allowed for bikers, but there as well, we saw other cyclists, so we continued our journey. For people from Belgium and Holland, it might feel a little uncomfortable as we are not used to this. If you follow our gpx track, you should be good according to our experience.
You leave the centre for a first loop with the climb from Orio to Aia. A good running climb of around 10 kilometers including the decend which of course has an impact on the averge rate of increase of 3.2%. The weather was warm and it was good to climb under the trees. A silent road with almost no cars. I think mostly the increase was around 4 to 6%. Once you reach the top, you decend back to the road on which you came to Orio. In opposite direction you go back in the direction of San Sebastian.
What follows are several shorter climbs which are not too heavy. After about 90 kilometers you reach the longest climb of the day: Jaizkibel. With its top on 455 meter not that high, but don’t forget you start from sea level. Just before the top you have some very beautiful panoramical views (see picture above). Make sure to stop and observe the area. It’s really magnificient.
Towards the end of the race, your come to the boulevard next to the beach. With the nice weather it’s very tempting to just stop biking and go and relax on the beach. As said, during our edition it was around 35°C so a reason the more to go in the refreshing water. From here the real finish for the punchers is almost about to start. We leave the center for a last loop in the direction of camping Igara and camping Igeldo. In between you find the incredible steep Murgil Bidea. After riding a whole day long in the sun, after 145 kilometers, this was really heavy. Made me think of a light variant of the Muro di Sormano out of the Tour of Lombardy. It start with a relatively steep part of 13 to 14%, but when you have survived this, you turn around a house, and the real steep part is waiting for you. it goes up to 18 and 19%. I was really happy to make it to the top. From there there is a decent to the center and the finish awaits you.