Tour of the Basque Country Stage 3

Jay McCarthy (Bora – Hansgrohe) wins stage 3 of the Tour of the Basque Country, Alaphilippe continues to lead overall

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Tour of the Basque Country Stage 3

Jay McCarthy (Bora – Hansgrohe) wins stage 3 of the Tour of the Basque Country, Alaphilippe continues to lead overall

Photo: Gomez Sport

After the day’s breakaway was caught, the expected bunch sprint was set up and the BORA – hansgrohe team started to form their lead-out for Jay McCarthy. In a hectic finale, the Australian rider took the stage win confidently, his second WorldTour victory. Julian Alaphilippe (Quickstep), already a double stage winner, leads overall.

The third stage took the peloton from Bermeo to Valdegovia over 185km undulating course. Two third category climbs awaited the riders directly after the start. The third categorised climb, Barrerilla, (6,5km, 5,6%) was after 90km of racing. Before the riders crossed the finish line, they had to manage a difficult descent on really narrow roads, the whole stage covered an elevation of more than 2.800m but there was a chance it could be a stage for the sprinters due to the tricky, slightly uphill finish.

The longest stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco was also the most nervous of the race, with a strong breakaway group jumping clear early and building a seven-minute advantage over the first two categorized climbs of the day, Errigoiti and Aretxabaigane, before the peloton eventually decided to up the tempo and start the chase. Inside the last 30 kilometers, the gap came down to two minutes, but a double-pronged attack of Team Sky duo David De La Cruz and Michal Kwiatkowski allowed the move to continue well into the business end of the stage. With five kilometers to go, the race came back together.
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Jay McCarthy – “The team did a stellar job today and worked the whole day really hard to support our GC leaders and help me in the final, if it all came back together. Felix and Cece rode super strong to control the race in the last 30km. Then Gregor came in the last 5 kilometres to the front and did a great lead-out for me. I started the sprint early and gave it all. I am really happy with this victory and want to thank my teammates for their support.”

Julian Alaphilippe (Quickstep) Sprinting to sixth place and adding more points to his tally in the Points jersey standings, the Quickstep rider continues to lead Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) by eight seconds going into the 19.4km-long individual time trial around Lodosa, a small town located along the Ebro river.

“It wasn’t an easy stage, but quite stressful and fast, because many teams wanted to take the win and as consequence rode full gas” Julian explained. “Our plan was to protect the yellow jersey, so we gave a hand to control the breakaway. With the help of my incredible teammates, I kept the lead in the GC for the third day in a row, which is great”.

“I will do my best tomorrow in the ITT, but it will be difficult against riders who have the upper hand in this discipline and on a flat parcours that doesn’t favour me”, said Julian, the first Frenchman in 19 years to lead Pais Vasco for three consecutive days”.






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