Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2018

April 2- 7, Zarautz, Basque Country, Road - WorldTour

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Stephen Farrand

Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 2 of the Vuelta a Pais Vasco.

Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2018 hub page

Start list

Richie Porte back in action at Vuelta al Pais Vasco

Alaphilippe wins opening stage


 

 

 

  1. 15:01:39 CEST

    As we join the racing, the riders have covered the opening 70km of the 168km stage.

     

  2. 15:02:50 CEST

    Stage 2 from Zarautz to Bermeo is a hilly ride along the Basque coast. 

     

  3. 15:06:00 CEST

    The stage started in the sun overlooking the stunning Zarautz beach, with stage 1 winner Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) in the leader's yellow jersey. 

     

     

  4. 15:07:23 CEST

    We had a fast start, with an attack by Fabio Felline (Trek) leading to a split in the peloton. 

     

    Sky were in the first group and so drove the pace.  

     

  5. 15:10:09 CEST

    The first serious climb after 612km sparked an interesting break.

    The 11 attackers are Alexis Vuillermnoz (AG2R La Mondiale), Alessandro De Marchi and Damiano Caruso (BMC), Dani Navarro (Cofidis), Tao Geoghegan Hart and David Lopez (Sky), Tsgabu Grmay and Ruben Guerreiro (Trek – Segafredo), Michael Woods (EF – Drapac), Carlos Verona (Mitchelton – Scott) and Mark Padun (Bahrain – Merida).

     

  6. 15:10:52 CEST

    The break formed after 61km on the first climb of the day.

     

  7. 15:11:27 CEST

    They now lead by 2:00. This is going to be an interesting finale.  

     

  8. 89km remaining from 168km

    15:18:32 CEST

    The break has passed the intermediate sprint in Kortezubi, with Woods taking the points. 

     

     

  9. 15:21:49 CEST

    We stand corrected on the sprint results it as actually Team Sky's Lopez who crossed the line first. 

     

    He beat Guerreiro and Vuillermnoz.

     

  10. 15:24:55 CEST

    The peloton has come back together behind the break but Michal Kwiatkowski has been slowed by a flat. 

     

  11. 15:25:43 CEST

    It's not  problem for the former world champion and he is quickly back chasing the peloton.

     

  12. 86km remaining from 168km

    15:27:02 CEST

    The riders are about to enjoy their lunch after 82km. But they will have to be quick and eat on the move because the biggest climb of the 168km stage starts after 95km of racing.

     

     

  13. 15:30:31 CEST

    With so many possible overall rivals in the break, it is up to Quick-Step Floors to lead the chase to defend Julian Alaphilippe's yellow leader's jersey.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  14. 15:36:52 CEST

    Alaphilippe leads Roglic by 4 seconds after the two attacked and stayed away in the finale of stage 1.

     

    All their rivals finished at least 33 seconds behind and so need to pull back time. 

     

    To catch up on the racing from stage 1, click here. 

     

  15. 15:38:35 CEST

    The stage hugs the rolling coast line of the Basque Country today., offering some spectacular views. However the riders have had little chance to enjoy the views so far. 

     

  16. 15:39:35 CEST

    This is a shot of the break of the day.

     

     

  17. 15:41:43 CEST

    It is interesting to see Damiano Caruso in there. 

     

    He crashed into a car yesterday but cyclists are hard as nails and is still racing hard. 

     

    Click here to read our story about his crash.

     

  18. 69km remaining from 168km

    15:43:15 CEST

    The gap is down to 1:45 now as the riders tackle the 4.2km Almika climb.

     

  19. 15:44:59 CEST

    The Basque fans are again out in force, cheering the riders from the roadside of the climb. 

     

  20. 15:45:25 CEST

    The 4.2km climb averages 9.2% but there is a 1.2km section at over 14%. 

     

  21. 15:46:31 CEST

    We can see some drops of rain from the Cyclingnews blimp, with the wind also playing a factor.

     

  22. 15:47:06 CEST

    Woods is driving the pace now on the climb. He's trying to crack some of the riders in the move.

     

  23. 15:50:04 CEST

    Winds of 25km/h are forecast today. The twisting stage route and climbs will protect the riders for some spells but it will hit the race on others.   

     

  24. 66km remaining from 168km

    15:53:28 CEST

    The peloton passes the summit of the Almika climb, 1:40 down on the break.

     

    The rain means the roads is wet for the descent.

     

  25. 15:56:26 CEST

    Woods is the virtual race leader in the break of the day.

     

    He finished 20th yesterday, 51 seconds down on Alaphilippe. In theory he's riding for Rigoberto Uran in the Pais Vasco but is a clear overall threat too. 

     

     

     

  26. 60km remaining from 168km

    16:00:04 CEST

    Riders are using the descent to eat some late race food. 

     

    They face 10 more climbs of various lengths in the final 60km.  

     

  27. 55km remaining from 168km

    16:07:42 CEST

    The gap is falling gradually as James Knox (Quick-Step Floors) leads the peloton.

     

    The British neo-pro crashed yesterday but fights on. 

     

  28. 16:08:51 CEST

    With 11 riders in the move, some are trying to be smart and miss turns. That has in turn sparked attacks as riders try to get ride of the freeloaders.

     

  29. 52km remaining from 168km

    16:09:50 CEST

    The attacks have reduced the gap to the peloton, it is down to 1:10. 

     

  30. 16:14:07 CEST

    The race is in the valley of Gatika, inland from the exposed coast. 

     

    The riders climb again for the Cat 3 Jata, which twists up the hillside overlooking the coast. 

     

    We should have some spectacular photos in our full race report later. 

     

  31. 48km remaining from 168km

    16:16:40 CEST

    The riders in the break have stopped attacking each other and so the gap to the peloton is back up to 1:30.

     

     

  32. 16:20:26 CEST

    The LottoNL jumbo team have hit the front of the peloton to help Quick-Step with the chase. 

     

    They also know that several big contenders are up the toad in the break. 

     

     

  33. 44km remaining from 168km

    16:23:40 CEST

    The sweeping descent takes the riders to near the coast now. 

     

    The peloton is lined out behind. This is going to be a fast finale. 

     

  34. 16:27:43 CEST

    The break is about to hit the Jata climb. It is proceeded by two other teeth, that will hurt too. 

     

  35. 16:28:27 CEST

    The views across the coastline are stunning but the exposed roads mean the wind from the sea will be a key factor today.

     

     

  36. 38km remaining from 168km

    16:33:08 CEST

    The team cars behind the break have been pulled out from the race before the climb. Logical considering the climbing and descending to come. 

     

    The bar is closed early today.

     

  37. 36km remaining from 168km

    16:36:05 CEST

    With 36km to race, the stage is finely balanced. 

     

    Will the break stay away over the late climbs or come back together for sprint of the strongest? 

     

  38. 16:37:27 CEST

    The peloton seems to be playing with the break but we should watch for Woods, Vuillermoz, Caruso, Verona and Geoghegan Hart going on the attack and trying to hold off the peloton.

     

  39. 16:38:49 CEST

    The 2.2km Jata climb starts now. It has an average of 6.6% but sections at 9%. 

     

  40. 16:43:56 CEST

    The team cars are back up to the break and EF DS Tom Southam quickly feeds Michael Woods and gives him some final tactical info. 

     

  41. 16:47:53 CEST

    The 11 riders in the break are refusing to give up the fight. This is no ordinary early attack but a quality move that includes some strong riders. 

     

    The peloton has been warned. 

     

  42. 26km remaining from 168km

    16:52:39 CEST

    The gap is down to 1:00 as the peloton ups the pace and makes the chase.

     

  43. 16:54:05 CEST

    Th next 10km includes two uncategorised climbs before the final San Pelaio climb with 10km to go. 

     

  44. 16:55:39 CEST

    Astana are also helping with the pursuit of the break. They have local resident Pello Bilbao ready for the finish.

     

  45. 20km remaining from 168km

    17:00:32 CEST

    Astana have five riders up front, leading the chase but other teams are gathering too.

     

     

  46. 17:01:39 CEST

    The break explodes as Carlos Verona attacks.

     

  47. 17:02:47 CEST

    The Mitchelton rider blows the attack apart but they reform on a descent. 

     

    The peloton is chasing and the gap is down to 30 seconds but the attackers still have a chance.

     

     

  48. 17:04:38 CEST

    The peloton can almost see the break but the twisting roads makes it hard for them to maintain a fast chase.

     

  49. 17:05:17 CEST

    On the second uncategorised climb Lopez kicks it off again. 

     

  50. 17:05:53 CEST

    Richie Porte is spotted at the back of the peloton. He's fighting for form after missing Tirreno-Adriatico due to illness.

     

  51. 16km remaining from 168km

    17:06:39 CEST

    Lopez dances on the pedals and has gapped the rest of the break. 

     

  52. 17:07:18 CEST

    The rest of the break seems to have lost speed and the desire to stay away.

     

  53. 17:08:49 CEST

    This is Lopez from earlier in the stage. The 36 year-old veteran is riding strongly today.

     

     

  54. 13km remaining from 168km

    17:10:17 CEST

    Lopez has a chance to recover on the descent to the final climb. 

     

    The peloton has split behind him.

     

  55. 17:11:09 CEST

    Vincenzo Nibali is now doing the work for his Bahrain teammates the Izagirre brothers.

     

  56. 11km remaining from 168km

    17:12:48 CEST

    Lopez has a gap on the remains of the break, with the peloton at a further 23 seconds. 

     

    The final climb will be decisive.  

     

  57. 17:13:53 CEST

    Behind the peloton is in high pursuit. 

     

    The 3.4km San Pelaio climb will surely see the race explode.  

     

  58. 17:14:35 CEST

    Lopez turns left onto a exposed coast road. He has a tailwind but the gradient kicks in. 

     

  59. 17:15:03 CEST

    Ouch. The road is steep! 

     

  60. 17:15:54 CEST

    We can see a rainbow in the distance but the race is on. 

     

  61. 17:16:21 CEST

    Michael Matthews has bravely kicked clear of the peloton.

     

    He's super aggressive. 

     

  62. 17:16:50 CEST

    But the strongest riders are chasing him, including Alaphilippe.

     

  63. 17:17:34 CEST

    Lopez is caught and distanced. Mathew kicks away again on the steep, steep road.

     

  64. 17:18:03 CEST

    Some parts of the climb touch 19!  

     

  65. 8km remaining from 168km

    17:18:29 CEST

    The gradient is splitting the peloton.

     

  66. 17:18:50 CEST

    The summit comes just 6.5km from the finish. 

     

  67. 17:19:09 CEST

    Enrico Mas surges away. Who can catch him? 

     

  68. 17:19:52 CEST

    The others chase him down and ease up. 

    Now Alaphilippe goes! 

     

  69. 17:20:15 CEST

    The race leader is on the attack. 

     

  70. 17:20:43 CEST

    He is over the steepest part of the climb and has a gap. 

     

    Will he go solo? 

     

  71. 17:21:23 CEST

    There is a group of chasers behind him as the gradient hurts their legs.

     

  72. 17:21:50 CEST

    Alaphilippe is going deep at maximum pace. 

     

  73. 17:22:18 CEST

    The huge effort is shaking out the chasers.

     

    Roglic tries, with Landa on his wheel.

     

  74. 17:22:40 CEST

    They Catch the Frenchman but others are coming up too. 

     

  75. 17:23:12 CEST

    Roglic kicks again and takes Landa and Alaphilippe with him.

     

  76. 6km remaining from 168km

    17:24:20 CEST

    As they start the descent to the finish Izagirre joins the trio. Bardet, Uran and Mollema are in the chase. 

     

  77. 17:24:56 CEST

    Alaphilippe calls on the others to lead on the descent.

     

  78. 4km remaining from 168km

    17:25:58 CEST

    The riders cutting the fastest line on the descent.

     

    The gap is 10 seconds to the chasers.

     

  79. 17:26:49 CEST

    The finish comes right after the descent.

     

    There's little chance for the chasers to catch the quartet.

     

  80. 17:27:31 CEST

    Alaphilippe is sat at the back of the 4. That could slow their pace. 

     

  81. 17:27:56 CEST

    The road is wet, the gap is up to 20 seconds now.

     

  82. 2km remaining from 168km

    17:28:20 CEST

    The chasers are not as fast in the corners.

     

  83. 1km remaining from 168km

    17:29:07 CEST

    The gap is 15 seconds with 1km to go but the four are playing games. 

     

  84. 17:29:22 CEST

    Getting the right wheel is vital for the sprint.

     

  85. 17:29:58 CEST

    Here we go. A four-rider sprint for the win.

     

  86. 17:30:08 CEST

    Roglic leads it out. 

     

  87. 17:30:38 CEST

    The road rises and Alaphilippe comes past Roglic to win again. 

     

  88. 17:31:17 CEST

    Alaphilippe timed his final kick perfectly. Roglic was strong but faded on the front. 

     

     

  89. 17:31:57 CEST

    Alaphilippe won in the leader's yellow jersey and gave Quick-Step Floors their 22nd win of the season. 

     

     

     

  90. 17:32:20 CEST

    Alaphilippe celebrates with his teammates. 

     

  91. 17:32:38 CEST

    We stand corrected it is Quick-Step Floors 23rd win. 

     

  92. 17:33:42 CEST

    Alaphilippe was on Roglic's wheel after the final corner and then kicked hard with his hands on the drops to hit the front and win.

     

  93. 17:34:39 CEST

    Izagirre was third, with Lands fourth. 

     

  94. 17:35:18 CEST

    It was Gorka Izagrirre. 

     

  95. 17:35:52 CEST

    This is the top ten on the stage. 

     

    1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 4:11:47
    2 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo
    3 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
    4 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team
    5 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:15
    6 Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
    7 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team
    8 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
    9 Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors
    10 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida

     

  96. 17:36:53 CEST

    Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe) impressed again, finishing fifth at 15 seconds and winning the sprint behind.

     

  97. 17:37:45 CEST

    Everyone else was in the same time of even further back as Alaphilippe and Roglic gained more time overall.

     

     

  98. 17:39:25 CEST

    This is the new overall classification after stage 2. 

     

    Alaphilippe now leads Roglic by 8 seconds, with Gorka Izagirre up to third at 39 seconds.

     



    1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 8:29:13
    2 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:08
    3 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:39
    4 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:43
    5 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:54
    6 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:58
    7 Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors
    8 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
    9 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
    10 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 

     

  99. 17:41:20 CEST

    Here is Alaphilippe winning in the yellow jersey. Roglic took second just as on stage 1.

     

     

  100. 17:47:54 CEST

    The Quick-Step Floors team is understandably celebrating their 23rd win of 2018 and Alaphillippe's second consecutive win. 

     

    The Belgian team struggled to find a new sponsor for 2018 but seem hungrier than ever. The lack of an absolute team leader seems to motivate everyone in the team. 

     

     

     

  101. 17:51:50 CEST

    Here's another shot of Alaphilippe in action.

     

    Race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors)

     

  102. 17:54:01 CEST

    To see our full race photo gallery and read the full race report, click here. 

    Join us tomorrow for more live coverage from the Vuelta a Pais Vasco.

     

     

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