Adam Yates stays safe on his way to seventh on stage three of Itzulia

Wed 10 Apr 2019

Briton Adam Yates stayed out of trouble on stage three of Itzulia Pais Vasco today to claim seventh in the final short uphill sprint.

Mitchelton-SCOTT were lucky to avoid a crash that claimed several general classification hopefuls in the closing kilometres. The team worked to keep Yates safe at the front of the bunch on the run to the line with Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) coming out on top, claiming the stage victory.

Local Basque rider Mikel Nieve is the highest rider on the general classification for the team, having moved up to 12th place following the late crash.

Eight Breakaway

In the opening stages of the third lengthy day, seven-riders jumped away from the peloton and hovered around three minutes ahead. Eventually one more rider bridged across and the group continued to maintain a steady lead, reaching a maximum advantage of four-minutes. The race continued that way for the majority of the day as the peloton headed over the undulating terrain.

The chase picks up

With 65km to go as the riders barrelled towards the next and final categorised climb, Opakua, a 4.6kilometre rise averaging 4.7%, the leaders’ advantage quickly dropped down to just one-minute 20seconds. Team Sky, Astana Pro Team and Mitchelton-SCOTT rider set a hard tempo over the top and the time gap continued to plummet.

The numbers in the breakaway also began to drop as the race reached the final 20km, but the peloton were having to work hard to reel back the remaining escapees. The breakaway was finally hauled back in with just three kilometres to go, while a crash split the bunch apart.

Mitchelton-SCOTT managed to avoid the carnage and took up the pace making on the front as the final ramp to the line approached. Yates kept to the fore as the sprint for the line opened up, but getting slightly boxed in towards the end he eventually crossed the line in seventh place with race leader Schachmann taking another win.

Adam Yates

"It was a pretty straight forward day, we all stayed in good position and out of trouble all the way through and the guys looked after me and Mikel well throughout the day.

"Most importantly we had a little bit of luck and managed to avoid the big crash towards the final. Tomorrow’s a similar kind of day before we have two hard mountain stages to finish the week off."

Itzulia Pais Vasco - Stage 3 Results:
1. Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 4:47:57
2. Diego Ulissi (UAE-Team Emirates) ST
3. Entico Battaglin (Team Katusha - Alpecin) ST
7. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

Itzulia Pais Vasco - General Classification after Stage 3:
1. Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 8:34:41
2. Ion Izagirre (Astana Pro Team) +0:33
3. Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:33
12. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 1:19

Photos courtesy of Getty Images