4.06.2016

Itzulia 3: The Finisseur

Is that the sun? really? in the Basque Country? It seems so. This morning at the start it was sunny and dry for a change. But it looks cold.
A break went away from the gun: Kadri, Denifl, D Goncalves, Oomen and Teklehaimanot. After 81 km they have 5'24".

The lovely weather makes it easier to apreciate the landscape,  sweeter  - so far - than yesterday. 
In Lekunberri there is the first intermediate sprint and Teklehaimanot wins it on Denifl.
The first climb of the day is also coming up within a few kilometres: it's Alto de Uitzi, a 3rd cat. one. Goncalves is 1st at the KOM on Denifl and Kadri.
Alto de Usategieta, cat 2. 
News come that Tikoff's Jesper Hansen abandoned.
45 km to go the gap is 2'45.
The road goes up hill: Oomen and Denifl leave the company as Teklehaimanot, Kadri and Goncalves are dropped. The gap is under 1'.
31 km to go Adam Yatesattacks from the peloton. Dani Navarro (Cofidis), Laurens de Plus (Etixx-QuickStep) and Dario Cataldo (Astana) join.
Aritxulegi KOM, 2nd cat. Descent. The wild Basque mountain again. An artificial lake like a blue eye open in the green. The race passes by.
Albasini is pulling like hell.
Alto de Agina, 1st cat. 24.5 km to go. Rolland and a Cannondale rider bridged to the chasing group.
22 km to go Team Sky takes the lead of the peloton. In front Denifl flies taking the KOM. Descent again. This finale is a rollercoaster!
The chasing group joins the break. 
Alto de la Piedad, 3th cat. climb is the next one. 11 km to go the gap is 15''. Navarro attacks.
Brambilla gets off the peloton but is caught.
6 km to go Navarro has 22" . Oomen has been caught by the peloton.
3 km to go Rolland attacks and Yates follows. Move neutralised but Navarro is caught. 
Last km: the break is over! Cummings attacks. And he wins! Amazing!

Steve Cummings:
"What a brilliant feeling this is. These early season races are so hard and to get two wins now, one in Tirreno-Adriatico and another here at Pais Vasco, it feels quite good. Before we came to Pais Vasco though I said I wanted to win a stage, some people may have thought something different about that but I am happy to have done it. I'm really pleased that I get to stand on the podium once again for Qhubeka, it just makes it such a good day for us."

Alberto Contador:
"The first part of the stage was the calmest so far in the race.The pace then picked up as there were teams interested in getting to the finish in a group. That resulted in a fast race but in the end what counted was to be well positioned in order to avoid having any surprises. We finished the day without any problems and the weather was on our side."


REPORT
STAGE
1. Cummings
2. Gerrans
3. Felline
4 Brambilla
5 Visconti
6 Clarke
7 Gallopin
8 Bilbao
9 Chernetski
10 Henao
11 Barguil
GC
1 Landa
2 Kelderman +1
3 Sergio Henao +5
4 Sanchez +9
5 Contador +11
6 Pinot +13
7 Costa +15
8 Quintana +15
9 Gesink +15

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