Tour of the Basque Country 2018 Stage 1: Alaphilippe bests Roglic in two-up sprint to take lead

julian alaphilippe - Tour of the Basque Country 2018 Stage 1: Alaphilippe bests Roglic in two-up sprintThe Tour of the Basque's 1st stage travels over five climbs to conclude with a drop to the line. On the steep last climb Julian Alaphilippe and Primoz Roglic go on the attack. They reach the crest together to drop to the line. The Frenchman wins the two-up sprint, thus taking the first leader's jersey. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 1st stage 2018 Tour of the Basque Country

1. Julian Alaphilippe (fra)
2. Primoz Roglic (slo) s.t.
3. Pello Bilbao (spa) + 0.23
4. Enric Mas (spa) s.t.
5. Gorka Izagirre (spa) s.t.
6. Emanuel Buchmann (ger) s.t.
7. Patrick Konrad (aut) s.t.
8. Jelle Vanendert (bel) s.t.
9. Romain Bardet (fra) s.t.
10. Nairo Quintana (col) s.t.

12. Rigoberto Uran (col) s.t.
13. Bauke Mollema (nld) s.t.
14. Mikel Landa (spa) s.t.
18. Ion Izagirre (spa) + 0.51
19. Vincenzo Nibali (ita) s.t.
20. Michael Woods (can) s.t.
26. Ilnur Zakarin (rus) + 1.12
67. Michal Kwiatkowski (pol) + 3.54
89. Richie Porte (aus) + 7.07

GC after the 1st stage
1. Julian Alaphilippe (fra)
2. Primoz Roglic (slo) + 0.04
3. Pello Bilbao (spa) + 0.29
4. Enric Mas (spa) + 0.33
5. Gorka Izagirre (spa) s.t.
6. Emanuel Buchmann (ger) s.t.
7. Patrick Konrad (aut) s.t.
8. Jelle Vanendert (bel) s.t.
9. Romain Bardet (fra) s.t.
10. Nairo Quintana (col) s.t.

Race report
Shortly after the start Ibai Salas, Jonathan Lastra, Aitor Gonzalez and Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier join forces to distance the main group. The gap widens to 5 minutes before the peloton takes them on a leash.

On the second climb of the day, Maddiola, the leaders are almost caught when Thomas De Gendt and Dario Cataldo bridge across. The Flemish attacker pockets the KOM points at the crest before the lead goes up to more than 2 minutes. Yet, on the lower slopes of the Alto de Aia the break is reeled in.

Roglic dances at the front on the last climb, Eikano, 2.4 kilometres at 9%, and he reaches the crest with Alaphilippe on his wheel. Quintana is third at the top with Izagirre (Gorka), Buchmann, Vanendert and Mas.

Following a sinuous descent to the line Alaphilippe claims the win with half a bike length. So the Frenchman is the first leader on GC.

The Quintana group is overhauled by a chasing group with most GC contenders before Pello Bilbao sprints to third place, 23 seconds down on the winner. Ion Izagirre, Vincenzo Nibali, Michael Woods and Ilnur Zakarin lose around 1 minute, while Richie Porte and Michal Kwiatkowski can stow their GC ambitions away for a later occasion.

Read also: route 1st stage 2018 Tour of the Basque Country.

Tour of the Basque Country 2018 stage 1: Route maps, height profiles, and more

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