Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2018

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

Complete Live Report

Live commentary by:
Daniel Benson

Hello and welcome to our live coverage from the final stage of Pais Vasco.

 

Race leader Primoz Roglic walks to sign on

  1. 15:08:31 CEST

    Welcome to our live coverage. And we start with the news that race leader Roglic was involved in a huge mass-crash at the start of the stage. The latest news is that he is back on the bike but in a second group, and 30 seconds down on his rivals. 

  2. 15:09:22 CEST

    Today is the final stage, and it's another summit finish and already it's been non-stop racing. Riders were warming up on the rollers before the start, and along with the crash we've had a flurry of attacks. Just under 100km of racing left.

     

  3. 15:12:03 CEST

    Roglic is still in the second group, around 30 seconds off the main field. We're already on the third of eight climbs on the stage. There's no let up in pace, and it's going to be like this throughout the day. Another bit of news, Kwiatkowski did not start today. Sky announced on Twitter that he was too fatigued from the last week of racing.

  4. 15:13:43 CEST

    Roglic is safe. He's made it back to the peloton, and there's a general re-grouping on the lower slopes of the third climb. Here's a reminder of the top ten coming into today's stage:


    1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 17:12:53
    2 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:57
    3 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:13
    4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:02:55
    5 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:06
    6 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:21
    7 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:03:30
    8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:41
    9 David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky 0:03:49
    10 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:03:57

     

  5. 15:14:35 CEST

    Assuming he's not injured it's really Roglic's race to lose. He has a decent buffer over Landa but the Movistar leader is going to throw everything at him today. I think we can expect a long-range attack from the former Team Sky climber. 

     

  6. 90km remaining from 122.2km

    15:16:15 CEST

    We've 90km to go and already we've splits on the climb. A group of four have gone away, but their lead is only around 15 seconds at the moment. Roglic is making his way through the bunch, and he clearly wants to reach the front and send a message to his rivals. 'Im here, and I'm ready to race.'

  7. 15:17:28 CEST

    Movistar are on the front, and they see that Roglic is back. There's a general acceptable but the pace remains high as we tackle this third category ascent. After this we have around 10km of descending before we hit the next third cat climb. 

  8. 87.2km remaining from 122.2km

    15:26:51 CEST

    Verona  has made it into the break. Another rider in a contract year who has upped his game with some decent results. He was in the break yesterday, and he's at it again. He's away with five other riders. 35km covered. 

     

  9. 15:35:35 CEST

    A reminder of the top ten on GC coming into the stage:

     

    1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 17:12:53
    2 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:57
    3 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:13
    4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:02:55
    5 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:06
    6 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:21
    7 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:03:30
    8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:41
    9 David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky 0:03:49
    10 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:03:57

     

  10. 72km remaining from 122.2km

    15:40:33 CEST

    And we have some rain on the bunch now. The break are 1'33 up on the bunch as we hit some flat roads with Movistar setting the pace. Roglic is near the front and just keeping out of trouble for now.

     

  11. 15:41:41 CEST

    There's a counter attack about 30 seconds down on the break - Zakarin is there with Valentin Madouas. Four climbs to go.

     

  12. 15:43:28 CEST

    We're still waiting for the confirmation on the break. We know that Mas and Verona are both up the road. That's about it. 

     

  13. 65km remaining from 122.2km

    15:48:29 CEST

    The lead group has swelled with a number of riders making contact. Movistar have two men, de Gendt is there. Hamilton is there with Verona, Mas, Tao Geoghegan Hart, and Lopez are there for Sky. There are a few other riders too. 


    Meanwhile, back in the main field Roglic doesn't have much of a team around him. 

     

  14. 64km remaining from 122.2km

    15:50:15 CEST

    It's Trek who are doing the work for the peloton, and Roglic will benefit from that. It keeps the pace high, and the break in contract. Still four climbs to go as the rain continues to fall. The bunch have lined out, with the beak 3'18 ahead with 64km to go. 

     

  15. 15:52:13 CEST

    Three of Roglic's men are coming back through the cars. That's some relief for the race leader. 

     

  16. 15:54:14 CEST

    We're on the Elgeta climb. It's a second cat ascent and although it's not that long, around 4km in length, it has an average gradient of around 9 per cent. 

     

  17. 15:59:30 CEST

    Alaphilippe is having another difficult day. He's already at the back of the bunch and starting to lose contact as Movistar continue to lift the pace as we continue to climb. The break is at 3'24 and Roglic is starting to lose teammates again. To be fair he didn't need them yesterday. 

     

  18. 60km remaining from 122.2km

    16:00:21 CEST

    60km to go and Movistar line the bunch out. They have two men in the break, and four leading the peloton. Quintana and Landa both look primed and we start to see more and more gaps in the bunch.

     

  19. 16:02:56 CEST

    The pace from Movistar is relentless and they've shaved a minute off the break's advantage. It's down to 2'26, and Roglic is just hanging on to Landa's wheel. The Spanish team are going to throw everything at the race leader today. 

     

  20. 16:04:09 CEST

    The Movistar peloton are down to around 30 riders, and it's Anacona once more on the front. In the saddle, churning on a huge gear, he looks rock solid but close to his limit. 

     

  21. 16:05:54 CEST

    Alaphilippe has teammates around him but he's already lost a minute plus change to Roglic and Landa. He could finish the day outside of the top ten on GC.

     

  22. 16:08:14 CEST

    Over the top of the climb. 56km to go and the break are 2'21 ahead. 

     

  23. 49km remaining from 122.2km

    16:15:49 CEST

    Sky attack and it's De Gendt who goes with him. 

     

  24. 16:17:44 CEST

    Trek are back on the front and setting the pace for the peloton. That will help Movistar but they're also trying to set Mollema up for a stage, and an outside chance of making it onto the podium. 47km to go. That De Gendt/Sky attack has been brought back.

     

     

     

  25. 16:19:01 CEST

    We're closing in on the Izua, the first 1st cat climb of the day. It's a brute and it's going to blow the race to pieces. Surely an early attack from Landa or Quintana.

     

  26. 45km remaining from 122.2km

    16:21:55 CEST

    At last. We have a full list of the riders in the break:

     

    Carlos Verona (Mitchelton-Scott)
    Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott)
    Tao Geoghegan Hart (Sky)
    David Lopez (Sky)
    Jesper Hansen (Astana)
    Gregor Mülhberger (Bora-Hansgrohe)
    Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar)
    Carlos Betancur (Movistar)
    Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors)
    Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)
    Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida)
    Jose Herrada (Cofidis)
    Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ)
    Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha Alpecin)

     

  27. 16:26:36 CEST

    He's in the break, so it's time to roll out our feature on De Gendt. You've guessed it. It's about him riding in breaks.  I've managed to make it sound a lot less interesting than it is but it's worth a read.

     

  28. 16:27:31 CEST

    The gap to the break is at 1'32 and we can see Roglic still on his own and without a teammates to help him. It won't matter too much on the flat but once we hit the climbs Movistar will try and work him over. 

     

  29. 16:29:49 CEST

    Trek still on the front and setting the pace, with the gap to the break down to 1'23. We're about to hit that first category climb. 38km to go.

     

  30. 16:30:20 CEST

    Verona, meanwhile, has moved into the lead of the KOM competition. He's been first to the top of all the climbs so far today. 

     

  31. 16:34:15 CEST

    Three more climbs remaining and we start to hit the early slopes of the Izua. Trek still doing all the work at the front of the yellow jersey group, with the break at 1'16.

     

  32. 35km remaining from 122.2km

    16:37:22 CEST

    Mollema is second wheel, and this is a really determined ride from the Trek team. Movistar still have four men left as the gradient starts to ride. All the GC men, bar Alaphilippe, are there. And de la Cruz has attacked. 

     

  33. 16:38:26 CEST

    The gap is only at 1'08 but de la Cruz already has a decent little gap. He's in the top-10 so it's a surprise to see him off the front. Up ahead and it's De Gendt who is pushing the pace at the front of the break.

     

  34. 16:39:30 CEST

    And Boswell has attacked from the bunch too, and he's chasing de la Cruz. Betancur has gone across, and Spilak too.

     

  35. 16:42:21 CEST

    And Landa has attacked. Roglic goes with him. 

     

  36. 16:43:41 CEST

    The bunch caught some of the break, and then Landa accelerated. It's back together but there's an attack from Bahrain Merida. It's matched by a number of the GC men. About a dozen riders in the Landa/Roglic group.

     

  37. 16:44:47 CEST

    And now Buchmann has attacked as the pace eases. It's looks like Mas has now attacked from the break. This climb is shredding the race.

     

  38. 16:45:28 CEST

    And now it's Rui Costa who has attacked from the yellow jersey group. He's matched by a BMC rider, as Roglic just holds Landa's wheel. 

     

  39. 16:46:04 CEST

    And now Quintana has put in a huge attack. Roglic is responding, with Landa.

     

  40. 16:47:04 CEST

    A few more riders from the early break have been caught as the pace slows when Quintana is caught. Roglic looks so comfortable though.

     

  41. 16:48:32 CEST

    And Quintana has gone again, and it looks like Roglic is chasing with Landa, and two riders from BMC.

     

  42. 16:48:57 CEST

    Roglic has has enough of the attacks and moves to the front as we crest the top of the climb. 

     

  43. 16:53:05 CEST

    There are six riders in the Roglic/Landa/Quintan group, as we continue to descent towards the next climb. There are just four riders left in the early break, including Mas and De Gendt.

     

  44. 16:54:45 CEST

    The next climb is 'just' a third category, but it's a great launchpad for a series of attacks. 

     

    A reminder of who was in the early break:

     

    Carlos Verona (Mitchelton-Scott)
    Lucas Hamilton (Mitchelton-Scott)
    Tao Geoghegan Hart (Sky)
    David Lopez (Sky)
    Jesper Hansen (Astana)
    Gregor Mülhberger (Bora-Hansgrohe)
    Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar)
    Carlos Betancur (Movistar)
    Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors)
    Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)
    Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida)
    Jose Herrada (Cofidis)
    Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ)
    Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha Alpecin)

     

  45. 16:56:10 CEST

    That looks like Rojas, who is leading Landa, Roglic and Jon Izagirre. No sign of Uran or Mollema, who couldn't respond to the attacks on the last climb. 

     

  46. 23km remaining from 122.2km

    16:57:07 CEST

    The four leaders are Mas, Verona, De Gendt and Mülhberger. They have a 50 second lead with 23km to go.

     

  47. 16:58:08 CEST

    Landa is now attacking on the flat, and has gone twice in the last few minutes. Both times, Roglic responds and shuts it down. 

     

  48. 16:59:22 CEST

    We're on the third category climb, and Rui Costa has tried and failed to create a gap, as the yellow jersey group swells to around 20 riders.

     

  49. 17:01:57 CEST

    No sign of Uran in that ever-growing GC group. He started the day in the top ten. That looks under threat with 21km to go. Team Sky are leading the bunch at the moment, but Movistar are just waiting in the wings.

     

  50. 17:03:03 CEST

    And it's Movistar who take over and set the pace once more as we continue climb. 

     

  51. 17:04:20 CEST

    The four leaders only have 35 seconds on the chase. 20km to go.

     

  52. 17:08:58 CEST

    The leaders are holding their 35 second advantage. Verona again goes over the climb and take maximum points in the KOM competition. He has that in the bag. 

     

  53. 17:10:26 CEST

    Now we're onto the final descent before the climb to the line. Movistar have five riders and Roglic is on his own. In reality, however, the LottoNl rider only need to follow one move, that of Landa, who sits second overall on GC.

     

  54. 15km remaining from 122.2km

    17:13:09 CEST

    Just under 15km to go and it's all about positioning before we hit the final ascent. It's a brute, with pitches of around 22 per cent.

     

  55. 17:15:28 CEST

    The four leaders out front lose another 25 seconds, and to be honest, they have little chance of deciding this stage. 12km to go.

     

  56. 17:17:38 CEST

    We're about to hit the final climb of the stage and it's all Movistar on the front. So far, so good for Roglic though. He's survived that early scare with the crash and then responded to every attack so far. 

     

  57. 10km remaining from 122.2km

    17:18:00 CEST

    Just 10km remaining in the stage, in the race in fact.

  58. 17:21:03 CEST

    A final reminder of the top-10 on GC coming into the stage. We've already lost Alaphilippe and Uran though.

     

    1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 17:12:53
    2 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:57
    3 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 0:02:13
    4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:02:55
    5 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:03:06
    6 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:21
    7 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:03:30
    8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:03:41
    9 David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky 0:03:49
    10 Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:03:57

     

  59. 17:23:03 CEST

    Five Movistar riders lead the bunch as we start to climb. Mas has now attacked from the break with the rider from Bora.

     

  60. 17:23:33 CEST

    This has been a brutally tough day in the saddle. At least the rain has stopped.

     

  61. 17:23:42 CEST

    And Sky now leading the peloton. 

     

  62. 17:25:31 CEST

    The road drops for a moment but it's about rise once more. Hart is on the front for Team Sky and riding out of the saddle, with Lopez, and then de la Cruz. Roglic surely has this race in the bag?

     

  63. 17:26:34 CEST

    Meanwhile the break has come back together, and now Movistar stamp on the pedals. Here we go.

     

  64. 17:27:36 CEST

    Roglic is glued to Landa's wheel and the Spaniard is just waiting and waiting. 5.2km to go.

     

  65. 5km remaining from 122.2km

    17:27:52 CEST

    And 5km to go and Mas has attacked.

     

  66. 17:28:27 CEST

    A gap, Roglic lets a small gap open up, but then closes it to Landa. Is he starting to crack? 

     

  67. 17:28:56 CEST

    Nope. Roglic has closed it and now Quintana has attacked. Roglic just sits and holds Landa.

     

  68. 17:29:12 CEST

    And Quintana is about to catch De Gendt.

     

  69. 17:29:35 CEST

    Mollema is being dropped. 

     

  70. 17:30:03 CEST

    Mas looks really strong though, out of the saddle and racing away with 4.7km to go. Quintana is after him though.

     

  71. 17:31:33 CEST

    Quintana goes by De Gendt but the Belgian is going to try and hold him. Quintana up the road, are they throwing in the GC towel or is there one last play up their sleeve?

     

  72. 4km remaining from 122.2km

    17:31:56 CEST

    Just over 4km to go. 

     

  73. 17:33:33 CEST

    Mas has 26 seconds on Quintana. The QuickStep rider might do this. And Landa attacks with 3.9km to go.

     

  74. 17:33:53 CEST

    Roglic has let this one go. He doesn't respond and Landa is clear.

     

  75. 17:34:46 CEST

    Can Landa make up 1'50 in the final 3.7km. Roglic can't respond to more attacks, as we see Landa and Quintana link up. Will they need those bonus seconds on the line?

     

  76. 17:35:34 CEST

    Mas has 30 seconds on the Movistar duo with 3.6km to go. Roglic has lost 20 seconds. At this rate, he should be okay.

     

  77. 17:36:18 CEST

    Landa moves to the front and pushes on the pedals. Quintana follows and Roglic is dropped by de Gendt as we see Landa fly up the climb. 

     

  78. 17:36:38 CEST

    Roglic still looks good, he's just not responding to any attacks. 

     

  79. 17:37:13 CEST

    Roglic has lost around 30 seconds as we see Landa drop Quintana. Mas has still got 27 seconds on Landa with 3km to go.

     

  80. 17:38:20 CEST

    It's coming down. Mas has 20 seconds as we see Landa really go for it in the final 2.7km.

     

  81. 17:38:39 CEST

    The road does dip and then level out before the line. Mas should do this. 

     

  82. 17:39:02 CEST

    And now Roglic is responding, out of the saddle and giving chase. 

     

  83. 17:39:23 CEST

    Mas is being cheered on, he's almost at the top of the climb. Landa is closing, it's at 15 seconds. 

     

  84. 17:39:57 CEST

    Roglic is now a minute down on Landa. He still has 50-odd seconds.

     

  85. 17:40:48 CEST

    1.7km to go and Mas still has 15 seconds on Landa and Roglic has pulled back 15 seconds. What does Landa have left?

     

  86. 17:42:09 CEST

    Landa looks set to take second on the stage, and second overall. 1km to go. 

     

  87. 17:42:24 CEST

    300m to go!

     

  88. 17:42:40 CEST

    And Mas takes the stage win for Quick-Step. 

     

  89. 17:42:48 CEST

    Landa is second.

     

  90. 17:43:12 CEST

    Where is Roglic?

     

  91. 17:43:43 CEST

    There he is. He loses around 30-40 seconds to Landa and takes the overall win.

     

  92. 17:51:18 CEST

    We're just waiting for the final results to come in. First WT win for Mas. Spoke to him at the TDU, and he's an interesting guy. From Mallorca, went to the same sports school as Nadal. Read all about it here.

     

  93. 17:53:14 CEST

    1 Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 03:17:34
    2 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 00:00:12
    3 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 00:00:27
    4 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team
    5 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:00:30
    6 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:45
    7 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:47
    8 Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:00:54
    9 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo
    10 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe


    Final general classification after stage 6

    1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 20:53:47
    2 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 00:01:09
    3 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 00:01:42
    4 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:03:14
    5 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:03:17

     

  94. 17:57:13 CEST

    And an update on the final GC:

     

    Final general classification after stage 6
    1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo 20:53:47
    2 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 00:01:09
    3 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida 00:01:42
    4 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:03:14
    5 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:03:17
    6 Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors 00:03:29
    7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 00:03:50
    8 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 00:04:14
    9 David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky 00:04:15
    10 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:05:30

     

  95. 18:12:18 CEST

    And you can find our report, results, and photos, right here.

     

  96. 18:39:41 CEST

    Thanks for joining us today. Remember, we'll be back tomorrow morning at around 10am CET for complete live coverage from Paris-Roubaix. 

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