The final stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco concludes with an individual time trial

Sat 8 Apr 2017

ORICA-SCOTT wrap up the six-day tour, Vuelta al Pais Vasco, content having claimed a stage victory with Michael Albasini after strong teamwork throughout the week.

The final and sixth stage of the race today was a 27.7kilometre individual time trial. Simon Yates was the highest finisher for ORICA-SCOTT in 26th place, as the general classification riders battled it out with Primoz Roglic (Lotto-Jumbo) claiming the stage victory. 

“The plan today was to try and finish the job off well,” said sport director Neil Stephens. “Basically it was a good quality training ride for us, we really didn’t have anything to gain or lose. We could have been in a position today going for the win if things had panned out a little different, so we wanted to try again and see how we go.”

“We will be looking at this ride, not so much where Simon finished on the stage but analysing his performance, seeing where we can improve and see what things we did well. It is a good training session for the up and coming races.”

The Australian outfit wrap up the Basque tour, satisfied with their performances throughout the race and pleased to have taken a victory on the second stage.

“Generally the overall outcome of the race was positive,” Stephens continued. “It was a funny mixture of emotions. We were close the first day, we had a win the next day and then our house of cards all fell apart after Simon’s puncture.”

“It was good for us to come out on the queen stage and work hard. We showed ourselves that if we were in a position overall to go for the win, then we definitely had the form and power in the team to, but luck wasn’t on our side.

“That was the summary and feeling from the week really. Everyone worked really hard and we can go away with good team morale. With the stage win that makes it a good week for us. A lot of these riders are going to the Ardennes next and they are looking forward to doing a job over there.”

How it happened:

The final stage in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco concluded with a lengthy individual time trial. The 27.7kilometre race against the clock featured just one gradual climb averaging out at seven percent in the first part of the race, followed by fairly flat roads all the way to the back down to the finish line.

Stage two winner Albasini was the first rider off for ORICA-SCOTT and stopped the clock with a time of 40minutes 13seconds. Pello Bilbao (Astana) was the rider to set the bench mark in the early stages with a time of 37minutes 57seconds, but as the riders crossed the finish line one by one, the fastest time quickly began to plummet.

Yates powered around the course finishing with a time of 37minutes 46seconds to move into 11th place with 25riders still to finish.

One of the later riders to start, Primoz Roglic, smashed the fastest time and was the only to dip under 35minutes with a time of 35minutes 58seconds as he waited in the hot seat until the very end to steal the victory.

With the general classification still very close, the highly placed GC riders battled it out and the tour finally concluded with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) crossing the line in second place, a time good enough to seal the overall race victory.

Vuelta al Pais Vasco stage six TT results:

1. Primoz Roglic (Lotto-Jumbo) 35:58
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0:09
3. Ion Izagirre (Bahrain Merida) +0:15
26. Simon Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +1:48

Overall general classification after six stages:

1. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 20:41:25
2. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) +0:17
3. Ion Izagirre (Bahrain Merida) +0:21
22. Simon Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +3:24

Photos courtesy of ©