Adam Yates rides to fifth place on a short opening time trial stage in Itzulia Pais Vasco

Mon 8 Apr 2019

Recent Volta Catalunya stage winner and second place finisher Adam Yates had a strong performance today on the opening stage of Itzulia Pais Vasco, riding to fifth place in the short 11.3kilometre race against the clock.

The Brit kept a good rhythm and gained some time on a brutally steep climb mid-race, to eventually finish the day 16seconds down on the winner Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and goes into tomorrow’s first road stage in a good contention. 

Rainy cold conditions

Under grey skies and rain, the riders set off one-by-one down the start ramp for a hard individual race against the clock, which included a challenging 2.3km climb. 

With an average gradient of 9.7% and a steep final 100metre section averaging 21% gradient many riders suffered, some swapped to their road bike and there were plenty of time gaps at the finish line.

The bench mark

As one of the earlier starters, Lucas Hamilton set a solid time of 17minutes 56seconds which saw him sit in the top ten positions throughout a lot of the stage, before finally finishing in 19th place.

Enric Mas (Deceuninck-Quickstep) was the first rider to sit in the hot seat for a lengthy period before Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) took over and remained there as riders completed the distance.

Yates headed over the climb with the third fastest time at the time check and remaining in that position as he crossed the finish line before finally concluding the stage in fifth position.

Adam Yates

"Today was a pretty good performance, the last few weeks I’ve been in decent condition so it’s good to keep the ball rolling and hopefully we can have a good week here in the Basque Country.

"I felt like I paced my effort quite well and decided that I’d just stick with the TT bike all the way without changing to the road bike for the climb. That worked out quite well because there was only one super steep section which you’d maybe need the road bike or smaller gear for.

"The next few days look quite tricky and the roads here in Basque are always harder than they look on paper, but we’ve got a super strong team that’s motivated to do something so let’s see what we can do."


Itzulia Pais Vasco Results:

1. Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 17:10
2. Daniel Martinez (Education First) +0:09
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky Pro Cycling) +0:10
5. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:16

Itzulia Pais Vasco - General Classification after Stage 1:

1. Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 17:10
2. Daniel Martinez (Education First) +0:09
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky Pro Cycling) +0:10
5. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:16

Photos courtesy of Getty Images