🎥 Severe crashes involving Roglic and Ayuso overshadow Hermans' stage win and Evenepoel's time gain in Basque Country Cycling

🎥 Severe crashes involving Roglic and Ayuso overshadow Hermans' stage win and Evenepoel's time gain in Basque Country

🎥 Severe crashes involving Roglic and Ayuso overshadow Hermans' stage win and Evenepoel's time gain in Basque Country

Quinten Hermans won the third stage of the Tour of the Basque Country. In a demanding stage characterized by a series of climbs that made for a tough race, he was the best after a sprint from a small group. More significantly, the race leader Primoz Roglic crashed hard forty kilometers from the finish. He didn't lose time but crossed the finish line battered.

Wednesday afternoon's stage in the Basque Country put the riders to the test with six demanding climbs, marking the first serious test and a day to be vigilant for those with aspirations in the general classification. The race kicked off with an immediate ascent, setting the tone for a day of continuous climbing. The peak of the final climb was strategically placed twenty kilometers from the end, leaving room for various tactical plays, from a fight for the general classification to a wide-open race dynamic.

A major battle for the breakaway, with the decisive separation occurring only later in the race

Six climbs, six opportunities for mountain points! Therefore, there was plenty for those aiming for the mountain classification to look forward to. Which adventurers were eager to take this on? The answer to that question would be revealed before the day's breakaway was known. Before the race, it was already clear that David Gaudu had to set aside his own ambitions. Similar to Paris-Nice, the French star crashed on day two. This time quite hard, forcing him to leave Itzulia with significant injuries.

The attacks rained down both during and after the first climb of the day to Otsondo. Louis Meintjes grabbed the full load of points at the summit and tried to break away with several other riders, but no decent group really managed to create a gap. From the top of the second climb of the day, however, a breakaway group did form: Eric Antonio Fagundez (Burgos-BH), Tom Paquot (Intermarché-Wanty), and Alan Jousseaume (TotalEnergies) managed to get a two-minute lead together. James Fouché, on behalf of Euskaltel-Euskadi, tried to bridge up to the leading three during the chase.

INEOS takes initiative, but stops when Roglic falls

Eventually, Fouché succeeded in joining the front three. At this point, the race was on a plateau about five hundred meters high. It was the warm-up for the finale, which included two more climbs. Would the top riders play their cards here? In the descent from the plateau, the breakaway's lead plummeted. With fifty kilometers to go to the finish in Antsasu, their advantage had dwindled to 25 seconds. INEOS Grenadiers led the chase in the peloton.

Read more below the video!

Just before the third-category climb, which essentially started the finale, the pace in the peloton shot up and nerves heightened. Suddenly, we saw Roglic standing by the side of the road. He quickly got up but seemed quite disoriented. After two minutes, the leader of the general classification was back on his bike, with help from Matteo Sobrero and Emanuel Buchmann. UAE Team Emirates and INEOS continued to push at the front of the peloton, putting Roglic at a two and a half minute disadvantage. The BORA-hansgrohe leader was badly scraped and looked battered, but had a chance to return thanks to a merciful peloton.

Battle for bonus seconds, then a sprint

With his elbow scraped and his right side badly abraded, we saw Roglic recover and refocus on the race. After Meintjes, the last of the breakaways, was caught seventeen kilometers from the finish, the question was: who's next? Until the intermediate sprint nine kilometers from the end, not much happened. The pace was kept high by INEOS, aiming for a stage win with sprinter Ethan Hayer. However, the teams competing for the general classification were also at the front, sprinting for gaining three, two, and one second. Remco Evenepoel took the full bounty, ahead of Isaac del Toro (UAE) and Jonas Vingegaard.

The race then paused momentarily, waiting for the next attack. Gorka Izagirre (Cofidis), Marc Soler (UAE-Team Emirates), and Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) teamed up, quickly opening a sizable gap. While their teammates attempted to slow the peloton's chase, several teams were still eager for a sprint finish. Alpecin-Deceuninck took the reins from INEOS, revealing their strategy. Hermans, with strong legs, surprised everyone with a sharp sprint uphill. However, the race wasn't without its mishaps, marked by a significant crash a kilometer from the end. Juan Ayuso was the main victim here. The Spaniard finished the stage despite considerable injuries.

Results of stage 3 Tour of the Basque Country

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

Place comments



More comments

You are currently seeing only the comments you are notified about, if you want to see all comments from this post, click the button below.

Show all comments

More Cycling News