Yates climbs to third place on Itzulia Pais Vasco Queen stage and moves up to 7th overall

Fri 12 Apr 2019

Yesterday’s fourth place finisher Adam Yates went one better on today’s Queen stage in Itzulia Pais Vasco, climbing to third place after Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) brokeaway in the closing stages and held on for a solo victory.

An active start

The Queen stage began at a fast and furious pace and despite multiple attempts, no breakaway combinations were able to get away for a substantial period of time. With 50km of racing complete the peloton still remained in tact as they headed over the first three climbs of the day.

The race heats up

The action really began around the 100kilometre mark with the peloton fragmenting into various groups on the road and with 50kilometres remaining, ahead of the first category climb, Izua, Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team) and Gregor Muhlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) sat one-minute in front of the reduced peloton, where Mitchelton-SCOTT remained in contention with numbers to their advantage. 

The steep slopes sorts out the race

As soon as the road went up, the race situation continued to change with Yates, Mikel Nieve and Lucas Hamilton represented in a continiously reducing front group with Sanchez finally caught shortly after top of the climb.

Fresh attacls came with three riders jumping away before Buchmann made the race winning move, launching away from the other two leaders and headed up the road solo.

With less than 10kilometres remaining he had worked up his advantage and started the final five kilometre climb, Usartza, with his lead extended out to two-minute over the chasing group.

Naturally the group shattered with the effort of the steeo climb, and Yates remained attentive at the front before finding himself with two others, Ion Izagirre and Jakob Fulgsang (Astana Pro Team), as the only riders remaining at the front handling the pace.

The trio tried but couldn’t close the gap to Buchmann who held on to claim the stage win and move into the race lead.

Yates now jumps up to seventh place overall at one minute 56seconds with just one short 118kilometre stage remaining. 

Lucas Hamilton

“The team were good today it was a super aggressive day and it split basically from the get go. We did a really good job of making sure the race was still playing to the favour of Adam going for the stage. We still had three guys over the steep climb with about 40km to go but when Buchmann went he was super strong. Astana were pulling but the time was just going out so hats off to him.

“We were in a strong position but there wasn’t much we could do. Adam was strong or the strongest on the final climb but it probably didn’t suit us that much in the end. We gave it a crack and we can be pretty happy with were we are heading into tomorrow.”

Julian Dean - Sport Director

“The team were fully tapped out and Astana were doing a good job to try and bring Buchmann back today but at the finish he proved to be head and shoulders above everybody else. It wasn’t really something we counted on happening today. 

“Our focus today was to go for the stage win but that opportunity slipped by us and we missed that so thats certainly on the cars for tomorrow. It is a hard day again tomorrow and there’s a new climb, I have done it in recon and it is really hard and more changes on the GC can potentially be made tomorrow so we will throw everything at it and hopefully have a good day tomorrow.”

Itzulia Pais Vasco - Stage 5 Results:

1. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 3:44:14
2. Ion Izagirre (Astana Pro Team) +1:08
3. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:08

Itzulia Pais Vasco - General Classification after Stage 5:

1. Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 16:23:30
2. Ion Izagirre (Astana Pro Team) +0:54
3. Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +1:04
7. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:56

Photos courtesy of Getty Images