Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 3 of Itzulia Basque Country.
Hello and welcome to the action from the Basque Country. Today the riders face a hilly 191km of racing.
As the CN blimp takes flight, with around half way to go, there is a break of eight riders away, with the peloton 3:20 back.
The riders in the break are Ben King (Dimension Data), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Julien Bernard, Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo), Garikoitz Bravo (Euskadi-Murias), Nicolas Sessler, José Fernandes (Burgos-BH), José Joaquin Rojas (Movistar).
87km remaining from 191km
It has been a steady first half. However there have been crashes and several riders are out of the race.
These include Rohan Dennis (Bahrain-Merida). Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) has also crashed out and been taken to hospital.
85km remaining from 191km
Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) is still in the leader's yellow jersey after stage 2 and his teammates are leading the chase of the break.
The skies is grey and heavy with rain but the road are dry so far.
Several riders touched and went down.
Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo) was brought down by another rider touching wheels.
A Cofidis rider also went down hard.
80km remaining from 191km
The riders are about to start the major climb in the middle of the stage.
The Opakua climb is 4.6km long at 4.7% but it is preceded by other nasty climbs.
It is followed by a steep descent an fast ride to the uphill finish.
This is the break of the day.
The USA's Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) was also caught up in the crash.
Bravo is in the break to defend the polka-dot mountains jersey.
Team Sky, Astana and Groupama-FDJ are leading the peloton in chase of the break.
72km remaining from 191km
The break is on a plain on top of the climb. They're working well together but so is the peloton.
Kenny Elissonde is on the front for Team Sky.
He's riding to help Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas and Michal Kwiatkowski.
68km remaining from 191km
This is another shot of the break of the day.
Another touch of wheels and another crash!
This time it's Steff Crass of Katusha to go down after a touch of wheels.
Rain is in the air and the roads are a little wet.
Crass is still lying in the field but is getting medical assistance.
62km remaining from 191km
The Opakua climb starts now and so the peloton closes in on the break.
The riders have passed through a rain shower and are back in the sun. Welcome to the Basque Country.
There is a stiff headwind slowing the riders at the moment.
This is the profile of the Opakua climb. It actually cuts into the side of the mountain.
José Fernandes (Burgos-Bh) drops out of the break and is swept up by the bunch.
The peloton is packed across the road and so he almost caused a crash.
58km remaining from 191km
They sprint for the mountain points.
Bernhard kicks first and distances Bravo.
The peloton passes the mountain summit some 1:30 down on the break.
51km remaining from 191km
The riders in the break are taking smooth turns on the front in the break but the peloton is on their case. The gap is down to 1:15.
The peloton has split slightly on the descent, there's a side wind and so the peloton is in four different groups.
47km remaining from 191km
The peloton reforms, Irizar there despite his crash. He has holes in his shorts and seems to have hurt his left hand.
42km remaining from 191km
The race is on long, straight country roads. It's a cold cloudy day in the heart of the Basque Country.
40km remaining from 191km
Team Sky is still dragging the peloton along and even lining them out in the slight cross winds.
The roads are wet again. The weather is changing by the minute, adding an extra factor to the race.
The gap to the break is down to 1:10 now.
The final intermediate sprint, with 3-2-1 time bonuses comes with 18km to go, is the peloton thinking about catching the break and so fighting for the time bonuses.
32km remaining from 191km
There are just six riders left up front now. Bravo has sat up, his mountains jersey secure for another day.
26km remaining from 191km
The riders are on the flat roads now, blasting towards the finish Estibaliz.
However they finish line is at the top of a short climb much like Tuesday's stage.
24km remaining from 191km
Riders are dropping back to their team cars to leave their capes and collect some final bidons and tactical advice before the finish.
1 Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck-QuickStep
2 Maximilian Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb
3 Christopher Lawless (GBr) Team Sky
4 Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
5 Roy Jans (Bel) Corendon-Circus
6 Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vital Concept-B&B Hotel
7 Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin
8 Emils Liepins (Lat) Wallonie Bruxelles
9 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) UAE Team Emirates
10 Matteo Moschetti (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
Michael Storer is loading bidons for Team Sunweb. Hugh Carthy did the same for EF.
20km remaining from 191km
The break is refusing to give up the fight but their lead is down to below a minute now.
They sweep up the time bonuses at the intermediate sprint.
18km remaining from 191km
The races passes along the shore of a stunning lake but the riders have little tine to enjoy the views. The speed is high now.
16km remaining from 191km
The peloton does not seem keen to close the break down just yet, letting them hang out front as the kilometres tick down.
Deceuninck-QuickStep, Lotto Soudal are now leading the peloton.
They're riding for Alaphilippe and Lambrecht, who finished second yesterday after kicking early.
Today's finish kicks up for the final 2km, at an average of 4%.
13km remaining from 191km
Nicolas Sessler (Burgos-Bh) is spat out of the break, leaving the WorldTour riders left up front.
They lead by 35 seconds now.
11km remaining from 191km
Bora-Hansgrohe is on the front but other teams are coming over the top of them to fight for position.
Position will be important going into the uphill finish.
10km remaining from 191km
There is a left turn with 2km to go and then the road curves to the left in the final metres of the stage.
Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Movistar Team), Benjamin King (Dimension Data), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo) and Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) are still working hard together but their lead is down to 20 seconds.
7km remaining from 191km
The peloton can see the break now, with Jumbo and Tony Martin leading the peloton.
He's dragging them along at 54km/h!
6km remaining from 191km
A numbers of riders have gone down at speed.
Alaphilippe is one of them!
Adam Hansen also went down hard but seems okay.
The crash happened with 5km to go and so the riders will lose time in the GC.
A Team Sky riders also crashed. He is being treated by the medics.
It seems Castroviejo is the Team Sky rider. He is getting up but has cut his face.
2km remaining from 191km
Back in the race, the break has been swept up.
It's time for the sprint.
2km remaining from 191km
They sweep through the left turn.
Enric Mas also crashed and has lost time.
Deceuninck is trying to limit Mas' time loss but its going to be significant.
1km remaining from 191km
Last Km. The climb kick in.
Schachmann is there.
Here we go!
Lutsenko and Ulissi lead it out but Schachmanm was on their wheel and far stronger.
He came past them as the road curved and won by a few bike lengths.
It was his fourth win of the season, he also won the stage 1 TT.
Schachmann had time to look behind and check on his rivals before celebrate his win.
Italy's Enrico Battaglin finished third, with Marc Hirschi of Sunweb was fourth.
This is the top 10 for the stage:
1 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 04:47:47
2 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
3 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Katusha-Alpecin
4 Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb
5 Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team
6 Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
9 Carlos Julian Quintero Noreña (Col) Manzana Postobon
10 Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
We are still awaiting info on if Julian Alaphilippe got up and finished the stage.
Here comes Kwiatkowski. His GC chances are over.
Thanks to a ten-second time bonus and Alaphilippe losing time, Schachmann extended his overall lead to 33 seconds on Ion Izagirre (Astana) and teammate Patrick Konrad.
Dan Martin (UAE) is fourth at 49 seconds.
Alaphillippe rides to the finish. He has road rash and is not happy but does not seem injured. He finished 12 minutes down after his crash with 5km to go.
With Alaphilippe losingb time, this is the new GC:
1 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 8:34:31
2 Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:33
3 Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:49
5 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:51
6 Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Education First 0:00:53
7 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:54
8 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:11
9 Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:16
10 Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb.
Schachmann collects the flowers and applause for winning the stage and also returns to the podium to pull on the leader's yellow jersey yet again.
Max Schachmann seemed genuinely surprised to win again.
"I don’t know what to say. I have to say thank you to my team. I knew I didn’t come to the team as big star but I get 150% support, as you saw in the finale. I could just trust them and I had the legs," he said.
"I haven’t had a yellow many times but I think it’s special to win in yellow."
Asked if he can win, the German rider said:
"I don’t know. I’m surprised myself (how well I'm going)."
"We have two super hard stages coming up. I hope my battery is still full enough those two days."
It's been a busy day in the pro bike world.
In Belgium, the Classics specialists fought it out in the crosswinds of southern Netherlands before the finish in Schoten.
We won't spoil the result for you but click here to see our full race report and photo gallery.
It is also a big day in the bike tech world, with Specialized unveiling their new Roubaix bike.
Cyclingnews attended the presentation and has all the details on the new bike that will be used by rider from Deceuninck-QuickStep and Bora-Hansgrohe at Paris-Roubaix, including Peter Sagan and Philippe Gilbert.
Click here for the full story on the new Specialized Roubaix.
This is one of the first images of Schachmann winning stage 4 in the Basque Country.
Max Schachmann was clearly happy to win again.
Team Sky confirmed that both Michal Kwiatkowski and Geraint Thomas crashed in the final kilometres.
Both should be fine to start on Thursday.
Jonathan Castroviejo also crashed, landing on his face, and has been taken to hospital for treatment.
We'll have further information on the riders involved in the crash.
For out full stage report and photo gallery, click here.
Thanks for joining us for our live coverage, we'll be back tomorrow for more action from stage 4.
We'll also have full live coverage of Sunday's Paris-Roubaix.
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