Rooijakkers: “I often get good results in the Spanish Basque Country”


After a short break Liv Racing is back in action with the Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa (139 km) on Saturday. Liv Racing will travel to the Spanish Basque Country with the following six riders: Sofia Bertizzolo, Marta Jaskulska, Jeanne Korevaar, Soraya Paladin, Pauliena Rooijakkers and Sabrina Stultiens.

The WorldTour race, with start and finish in Donostia, has four categorised climbs. The first is after 26 kilometres (Aia). The riders then head towards the Jaizkibel (7.5 kilometres, average gradient- 5.6 percent). The summit is at 50 kilometres from the finish. Then the Gurrutze (2.7 km, average gradient: 5.2 percent) and the extremely steep Murgil Tontorra (2.1 km) with gradients of up to 20 percent await.

“I have good memories of this race,” says Pauliena Rooijakkers, who finished third in 2019. “The Jaizkibel is a somewhat longer, tough climb. There the peloton can already be somewhat broken up. There are more climbs deeper into the finale. The last one in particular, the Murgil Tontorra, just before the finish, appeals to the imagination. You really have to be up front there if you want to play a significant role. The climb is very steep and the profile suits me.”

Rooijakkers will certainly also try to enjoy herself along the way, no matter how tough the highly regarded classic is. “Spanish Basque Country is a beautiful, cycling-enthusiastic region. I love coming there to race. In one way or another, I often get good results there. The experience of the supporting crowd there is fantastic. Although, because of corona, the enthusiasm this year may be a little less exuberant and grand than usual.”


Team manager Eric van den Boom: “Pauliena Rooijakkers will certainly be motivated. She was extremely strong in the first edition of the Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa. However, we have more strong riders with us. Sabrina Stultiens is getting better and better, Sofia Bertizzolo can perform well here and Soraya Paladin should normally also be able to do this. We’ll just have to wait and see how she responds to her trip to Tokyo. Actually all six of our riders can do this race, the team is strong in width. We will try to use that to our advantage.”

Photo credits: Cor Vos