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 3 of the Vuelta a Pais Vasco. 


Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2018 hub page

Start list

Pais Vasco stage 1: Alaphilippe wins opening stage

País Vasco stage 2: Alaphilippe wins again in Bermeo



  1. 70km remaining from 184.8km

    15:52:02 CEST

    Hello and welcome to action. As we position the second CN blimp, there are 70km left to race on stage 3.

  2. 15:53:04 CEST

    Yet gain there is a break up the road but the peloton is chasing them down for the expected aggressive finale.



  3. 15:54:07 CEST

    The race is already on a plateau but there are a series of climbs in the finale.  


  4. 15:56:42 CEST

    It's a classic sprig day in northern Spain, with spells of sun and showers.


    The break is on wet roads but the peloton is enjoying some sun.


  5. 15:57:42 CEST

    Astana and Team Sunweb are leading the chase of the break. Sunweb seem keen to set up Michael Matthews for a sprint finish.


    But there are six climbs to come before the finish. 


  6. 15:58:03 CEST

    The riders in the break are: Pavel Sivakov (Sky), Ion Irisarri (CajaRural-RGA), Aritz Bagues (Euskadi), Ben King (Dimension Data), Brendan Canty (EF-Drapac), Willie Smit (Katusha-Alpecin), Chris Juul-Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott) and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal).


  7. 67km remaining from 184.8km

    16:00:28 CEST

    Their lead is 3:00 now.


  8. 65km remaining from 184.8km

    16:06:03 CEST

    The race is now on the first of those six unclassified climbs. 


  9. 16:06:58 CEST

    Astana is driving the pace. It seems for local resident Pello Bilbao. He was strong in the opening stages, finishing third and seventh.


  10. 16:09:28 CEST

    We've added the names of the seven riders in the break to our situation column on the right. 


    That's where we highlight the names of the riders and the time gaps. 








  11. 61km remaining from 184.8km

    16:12:44 CEST

    The 187km stage headed south from the coastal town of Bermeo deep into the Basque Country. 

    The riders face a long loop in the finale, before the finish in Valdegovia.



  12. 16:15:50 CEST

    This is the break of the day.



  13. 16:17:02 CEST

    There are some interesting names in the break. De Gendt could be a real threat to the peloton today if he is at his best. There is no better breakaway rider than the Belgian.


  14. 56km remaining from 184.8km

    16:18:42 CEST

    The riders face a 32km loop in the finale but are currently riding towards a downpour. The skies ahead are grey and heavy.  


  15. 53km remaining from 184.8km

    16:24:11 CEST

    The peloton is gradually pulling back the break but seems in no rush to bring them to heel just yet.   


  16. 16:26:22 CEST

    Smit drops back to the Katusha team car to talk tactics. 

    We could soon see some attacks from the break as they try to stay away.



  17. 16:27:17 CEST

    It will be interesting to see Pavel Sivakov (Team Sky) does today. 


    He was a revelation as a U23 rider but what can he do at WorldTour level.  


  18. 16:32:20 CEST

    Romain Bardet is sat behind his AG2R team car. He quickly changes a shoe with the help of two teammates.


  19. 47km remaining from 184.8km

    16:34:08 CEST

    Here we go! The break is splitting after an increase in speed on a climb.


  20. 16:34:25 CEST

    Rincon and Canty are the first to crack.


  21. 16:35:14 CEST

    Smit is also struggling and is spat out the back.  


  22. 16:37:10 CEST

    The race is riding through the stunning Valderejo national park. The roads are quiet but with lots of Basque fan out cheering the riders.


  23. 16:37:58 CEST

    As expected, the four strongest riders left up front are De Gendt, Juul Jensen, Sivakov and King. 


  24. 16:38:42 CEST

    The peloton makes it safely around a tight downhill corner and accelerates again. 


  25. 16:40:02 CEST

    This is a screen grab of Bardet's quick shoe change. He did it well.





  26. 16:42:07 CEST

    The peloton is still being dragged along by Astana, with Moreno Moser doing much of the work on the front. 


  27. 16:43:26 CEST

    Team Sky are also gathering at the front of the peloton.

    They are protecting Kwaitkowski perhaps.


  28. 16:44:25 CEST

    Upfront a gradual rise is too much for Ben King. The American is dropped from the attack as De Gendt and Juul Jensen keep the pace high. 



  29. 37km remaining from 184.8km

    16:45:15 CEST

    Sivakov has also been distanced as the two leaders open a 2:00 gap. 


    We've got a real pursuit match on now.


  30. 16:46:50 CEST

    It is raining hard at the finish but the roads are dry at the moment. However a wet finish will change the outcome of the stage. 


  31. 16:47:39 CEST

    De Gendt and Juul Jensen are doing licks on the front, sharing the effort as they try to keep the peloton at bay.


  32. 32km remaining from 184.8km

    16:51:24 CEST

    There are two more climbs in the final 30km but De Gendt and Juul Jensen have a chance of staying away. 



  33. 16:52:57 CEST

    They face the La Tejera climb next. 


  34. 16:53:47 CEST

    It climbs steady for 3km. And will be give a real indication of the chances of Juul Jensen and De Gendt.



  35. 16:56:30 CEST

    Here comes the rain. 


  36. 16:57:09 CEST

    There is also a strong side/head wind blowing from the riders' left. 


    That will help the peloton with their chase.


  37. 16:58:57 CEST

    Team Sky have four riders on the front, tucked behind Chag Haga's wheel, who is riding to set up Matthews in the sprint.


  38. 17:00:59 CEST

    De Gendt seems tired now but will not give up until the peloton catches him and Jensen.


  39. 17:03:43 CEST

    Ben King waves as he is swept up by the peloton.


  40. 17:05:53 CEST

    Here we go! Sky and Astana are trying to split the peloton on the climb. 



  41. 17:06:18 CEST

    Kwiato and De la Cruz go clear with 25km to go.


  42. 17:07:33 CEST

    Omar Fraile tried to go with them but was soon distanced.


  43. 17:08:05 CEST

    The two Sky riders are only 32 seconds down on Juul Jensen and De Gendt now.


  44. 21km remaining from 184.8km

    17:10:21 CEST

    We've got a pursuit match out on the road.


  45. 17:11:20 CEST

    Kwiato and De la Cruz lead the peloton by 15 seconds or so. But now Quick-Step Floors is chasing to control De La Cruz. 



  46. 17:12:15 CEST

    Here comes the rain as BMC and Bora also help the peloton chase.


  47. 17:12:58 CEST

    Much of the final 18km descent towards the finish but there is a strong head wind in the final 5km.


  48. 17km remaining from 184.8km

    17:15:50 CEST

    The Sky duo of Kwiato and De la Cruz are about to catch De Gendt and Jul Jensen.


    The peloton is 30 seconds back. 


  49. 16km remaining from 184.8km

    17:17:29 CEST

    We have the catch up front. These four could stay away.


  50. 17:18:26 CEST

    The peloton is 30 seconds back as they get some help from the TV moto slipstream. 


  51. 17:19:01 CEST

    Bora and Quick Step are leading the chase. 



  52. 17:19:54 CEST

    A full rainbow can be seen from the roadside. The sun is out but the roads are very wet. 


  53. 17:20:34 CEST

    Up front De Gendt cracks as the break fights into a head wind. 


  54. 17:21:06 CEST

    The tough rolling terrain and lots of headwinds finally cracked the Lotto Soudal rider. 


  55. 17:23:12 CEST

    Jensen is still fighting to stay in the break as Kwiato drops back after one last turn. 



  56. 12km remaining from 184.8km

    17:23:50 CEST

    Jensen and De la Cruz are just 18 seconds ahead.


  57. 17:24:35 CEST

    De la Cruz is tucked in an aero position but Jensen looks cooked.


  58. 17:25:21 CEST

    De la Cruz calls on Jensen to do a turn but the Dane admits he's finished and just hanging on. 


  59. 17:26:00 CEST

    Behind BMC attack in pursuit of the duo. 


  60. 17:26:23 CEST

    It's Dylan Tuens.


  61. 17:27:00 CEST

    He's saved his strength for a move in the finale.


    Can he cross the gap and go solo?


  62. 8km remaining from 184.8km

    17:28:46 CEST

    Behind Astana and Movistar lead the chase. 


    Despite the riders up the road, we seem set for a sprint finish.


  63. 17:29:18 CEST

    The riders turn left onto a country road. 


    Tuens is between the break and the peloton.


  64. 6km remaining from 184.8km

    17:30:26 CEST

    Tuens is going to be caught as Movistar take control.   


  65. 17:31:38 CEST

    De la Cruz and Jensen lead by just 10 seconds. 


    Behind the blue Movistar train is leading the chase. 


  66. 5km remaining from 184.8km

    17:32:56 CEST

    The peloton can see the two attackers now.

    We're surely going to have a sprint finish. 


  67. 4km remaining from 184.8km

    17:33:33 CEST

    Jensen has tried to give De la Cruz some help with the work despite being on the attack all day.   


  68. 3km remaining from 184.8km

    17:33:59 CEST

    Two riders attack from the peloton.


  69. 17:34:37 CEST

    Herrada is one of them but they're going to caught. 



  70. 17:34:56 CEST

    It's all together with 3km to go. 


  71. 17:35:10 CEST

    Now Rojas kicks away. 


  72. 2km remaining from 184.8km

    17:35:43 CEST

    We have more attacks as riders try to stop a sprint finish.


  73. 2km remaining from 184.8km

    17:36:27 CEST

    A Caja Rural rider goes clear alone. 


  74. 1.5km remaining from 184.8km

    17:36:41 CEST

    He has a gap.


  75. 1km remaining from 184.8km

    17:37:25 CEST

    It is Soto. He is still clear.


  76. 17:37:55 CEST

    He's fading fast. 


  77. 17:38:02 CEST

    500m to go. 


  78. 17:38:17 CEST

    It's a hectic sprint finish. 


  79. 17:38:46 CEST

    Jay McCarthy takes it! 


  80. 17:39:21 CEST

    The Australia hit the front early, moved across to take the shortest line and won it well.  


  81. 17:40:50 CEST

    McCarthy got an excellent lead out from teammate Gregor Mühlberger and they rightly celebrate together.


  82. 17:41:59 CEST

    It is McCarthy's second win of 2018 after also taking the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race. 


  83. 17:44:31 CEST

    This is the top ten for stage 3: 


    1 Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe 4:49:39
    2 Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team Emirates
    3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
    4 Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton-Scott
    5 Enrique Sanz Unzue (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias
    6 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
    7 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb
    8 Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos BH
    9 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team
    10 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-Jumbo


  84. 17:45:29 CEST

    Kwiatkowski was an impressive third after trying a late attack with De la Cruz. 


  85. 17:46:12 CEST

    Alaphilippe was well placed but eased up in the sprint to finish sixth.


    He kept the race leader's yellow jersey. 


  86. 17:46:45 CEST

    This is the new top ten on the GC.


    1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 13:18:52
    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 Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:58
    7 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
    8 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
    9 Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors
    10 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe


  87. 17:49:31 CEST

    Alaphilippe leads Roglic by 8 seconds, with Gorka Izagirre at 39 seconds.


  88. 17:53:44 CEST

    McCarthy was happy to have taken his second WorldTour win of 2018. 


    "Our first plan was to look after our GC guys but if it came down to a sprint then it would be up to me to have a go," he explained.


    "The guys did a good job all day. Gregor Mühlberger did an awesome lead out. It’s his birthday today as well, so I’m happy to pay him back with a victory."


    "This is my first victory here but my second victory of the season. I’m happy to a get a second win."



  89. 17:56:11 CEST

    McCarthy climbs onto the top step of the podium and enjoys his moment of glory.  


  90. 17:59:28 CEST

    That was another thrilling stage of racing in the hilly Basque Country. 


    Tomorrow will be very different as the riders face the key 19.4km Lodosa time trial. 


    It will be a vital stage for the overall classification and a real test of Alaphilippe's ability.  


  91. 18:05:23 CEST

    This is the first photo of McCarthy's win.



  92. 18:12:21 CEST

    Julian Alaphilippe kept the leader's yellow jersey and will start the time trial last and in yellow.


    Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors)


  93. 18:20:20 CEST

    It's been another hectic day of racing. In Belgium Quick-Step Floors won again, taking win number 24.


    Fabio Jakobson continued Quick-Step Floors' incredible season with a surprise win in Scheldeprijs in reduced bunch sprint victory over Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Chris Lawless (Team Sky). 




  94. 18:21:33 CEST

    Marcel Kittel and his Katusha teammates controlled the peloton despite the new route on the exposed roads of Zeeland, only for the German to suffer a third puncture in the final 15km. 


    He tried to chase but eventually threw in the towel. 





  95. 18:22:45 CEST

    Click here to see our full race report and photo gallery from Scheldeprijs. 



    Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Floors) wins the 2018 Scheldeprijs


  96. 18:29:44 CEST

    If you've stuck with us, you're in form a special treat. 


    Next week Cyclingnews unveils the first in a series of documentary films. Our premiere feature centres on the holy week within cycling, between the start of the Tour of Flanders and the finish line of Paris-Roubaix. These two races form the epicentre of the cobbled classics, the bergs of Flanders and the cobbles of Roubaix etched into the rich history of the sport.



  97. 18:30:56 CEST

    Featuring Peter Sagan, Greg Van Avermaet, Niki Terpstra, Philippe Gilbert and a string of other key personalities, the film tells the story of the cobbled classics through the eyes of the riders and their support staff.

    Click here to see a sneak preview of what’s to come next week.

    Over the coming days, we’ll release more footage, before the full version of the film will be available next week. Stay tuned to the site and our Vimeo page for more details.



  98. 18:39:10 CEST

    We have more photos of McCarthy's win in the Basque Country.


    This one shows how he took the best line in the sprint.

    Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) comes out in front


  99. 18:41:47 CEST

    Here McCarthy hits the line first. 


    Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) wins the sprint


  100. 18:50:09 CEST

    Here McCarthy celebrates his victory as Alexandr Riabushenko (UAE Team Emirates) expresses his disappointment.


    Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe)


  101. 18:58:13 CEST

    To see more photos from the sprint and the stage, and o read our full stage report, click here.


    Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe)


  102. 18:59:10 CEST

    We'll be back for live coverage for Thursday's time trial stage to understand who will emerge as the overall contenders in this year's Tour of the Basque Country. 



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