Tour of the Basque Country: Stage 3

British rider Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) was fourth on a wet and wild stage 3 of the Itzulia Pais Vasco (Tour of the Basque Country)

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Tour of the Basque Country: Stage 3

Briton Adam Yates claimed fourth place today on stage four Itzulia Pais Vasco, after attacking and breaking away with three other riders on the final climb of the day, before contesting the victory from a four-up sprint.

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Mitchelton-SCOTT animated much of the stage with Tsgabu Grmay spending most of the day in the breakway before the team led the chase and set the tempo to set Yates up for his attack. In the end, it proved to be another day for the race leader Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) who won the race sprint to give him his third stage victory of the race. The riders were welcomed by rain and cold conditions for the fourth stage and a hard pace pace was set from the word go. Eventually after 30 kilometres of racing, a group of seven-riders including Grmay, broke away and gained an advantage of over one-minute.

The breakaway continued ahead gaining a maximum advantage of four-minutes, and with just over 40 kilometres remaining the race headed up a first category climb, Bikotz Gane, where two-riders attacked away from the leading group. Soon after it was job done for Grmay as the pace picked up behind and gradually the other remaining breakaway riders were all caught on the ascent.
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The weather started to deteriorated with the rain pouring down as Mitchelton-SCOTT led the chase, and on the descent the duo out front held onto a small advantage of just 40seconds. Grmay continued his hard work for the day, heading back to the front of the peloton with his teammates Micheal Albasini and Lucas Hamilton and they led the chase until finally, with 12 kilometres to go, ahead of the final third category climb, the breakaway was swallowed up.

Once the break was caught, the team continued to keep a high pace to avoid any further attacks before Nick Schultz and Hamilton set a furious pace on the steep slopes of the climb to set up Yates. The Brit made the race winning attack with three kilometres to go, successfully breaking away with three other riders. However, unable to shake them off, Yates was left to contest the stage victory from a sprint between the group of four.

Adam Yates: “We had horrific weather conditions all day but again we did a good race, Tsgabu managed to get himself in the break in what could have been a real opportunity but unfortunately Bora didn’t want to give them any breathing room. On days like this most people are just happy to get to the finish in one piece but we haven’t got many opportunities left, so we decided to take it up towards to final and give it a nudge even if the stage didn’t really suit us.”

“In the end there were a couple of fast guys still there and I didn’t really have the legs in the sprint because it was a pretty tough day and when it’s cold like today, sometimes you just feel blocked and can’t push like you want to. Tomorrow’s stage probably suits me the best out of the whole week so hopefully I can have good legs and that the weather is a little better than today.”
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Stevie Williams: “It was definitely a long day. To be honest when the weather is like that it’s tough anyway. I’m happy that I had a good day in the legs. It seems like the legs decided to come back day by day. It’s nice to be back racing and to be with the boys amongst the team”.

1. Maximilian Schachmann Bora – Hansgrohe
2. Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates
3. Jakob Fuglsang Astana Pro Team
4. Adam Yates Mitchelton – Scott
5. Marc Hirschi Team Sunweb
6. Emanuel Buchmann Bora – Hansgrohe
7. Patrick Konrad Bora – Hansgrohe
8. Ion Izagirre Astana Pro Team
9. Valentin Madouas Groupama – FDJ
10. Bjorg Lambrecht Lotto – Soudal

11. Mikel Landa Movistar Team
12. Bauke Mollema Trek – Segafredo
15. Daniel Martin UAE Team Emirates
21. Hugh Carthy EF Education First
48. Geraint Thomas Team Sky
141. Stephen Williams Bahrain – Merida

1. Maximilian Schachmann

5. Dan Martin
13. Adam Yates
21. Hugh Carthy


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