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Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco 2016: Stage 6

Welome to live coverage from the final stage from the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

Hello and welcome to our coverage from the final stage from Pais Vasco. It's a 16.5km time trial that will decide the overall in this thrilling race. 

This is how things stand on GC coming into the final stage

 

1 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 22:15:24
2 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 0:00:06
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:00:10
4 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:12
5 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:00:31
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:38
7 Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:01:00
8 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:01:07
9 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida 0:01:09
10 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ 0:01:11

 

Henao has been in form all week, Contador too, and Pinot has already won a time trial this year. You can't really right of Rodriguez when it comes to the podium either, so it's all to play for today. 

 

Riders are setting off at one minute intervals but that will change when we get to the top ten, with the subsequent riders setting off every two minutes. 

 

A reminder of the top ten coming into today's stage

1 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 22:15:24
2 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 0:00:06
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:00:10
4 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:12
5 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:00:31
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:38
7 Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:01:00
8 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:01:07
9 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida 0:01:09
10 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ 0:01:11

 

Simon Clarke is the latest rider to leave the start house. The Australian for Cannondale will just get today out of the way - he's done his work this week already for his team.

 

The roads out there are wet due to rain earlier and there are high chances of further rain fall. That could certainly be a factor for the stage win and the overall.

 

Luis Leon Sanchez has just started and he could feature today, so could his teammate Cataldo who is out there but the main climb on the 16.5km course could prove too difficult for the two Astana riders. Cataldo, as most today, is riding on a road bike as we see him descend towards the finish. 

 

Away from this race we have the teams' presentation at Paris-Roubaix. You can find our complete race coverage from France, right here.

 

 Albasini is riding up the climb now. The stage in Eibar as pitches of around 20 per cent on the main climb. The Orica rider is struggling on the steeper sections as Dario Cataldo takes the lead. The former Italian time trial champion is fastest by nine seconds. 

That time could hold for some time, although it will be interesting to see how Cummings goes. He started around 10 minutes ago but there are no intermediate time checks at the moment. The Dimension Data rider clearly has form after his stage win earlier this week and he can gauge his efforts on climbs incredibly well. 

 

Out there the rain is holding off for now but the roads remain wet. In one sense the descent from the major climb is going to be just as crucial as the climb itself. The stage winner is going to have to take some risks and there's little margin for error. 

 

The course really does suit Pinot in that sense. He can go well on the flat, can climb well, and his probably stronger against the clock that Contador and Henao at this current moment in time. Meanwhile Monfort has started his time trial. Former national time trial champion is the Lotto Soudal rider. 

 

Edet is currently in second place, nine seconds down on Cataldo as Adam Yates starts his TT. His brother Simon pulled out of the race yesterday. 

 

#Itzulia - 2ème meilleur temps provisoire pour @NicoEdet en Edet en 31'12" ! @YoannBagot & @Rudymolard sont sur le parcours

@TeamCOFIDIS Sat, 9th Apr 2016 13:45:45

A few spots of rain begin to fall as we see Ludvigsson grind up the climb. It's a truly brutal ascent, especially in the context of a short time trial like this. 

 

Ludvigsson crests the top and can now settle into the descent. Zubeldia who finished top five in the Tour de France back in 2003, finishes in 20th. 

 

Another veteran Vicioso, comes over the line in 8th. 

 

De Plus starts his time trial as we see CN's blogger Michael Woods on the climb. The Canadian has already found his feet at WorldTour level and goes from strength to strength. Fellini is now fastest at the first time check. 

 

And yesterday's stage winner Diego Rosa starts his effort. With no KOM points today, he'll win that jersey outright today. 

 

Luis Leon Sanchez has caught his minute man by the top of the climb and now starts the long descent to the finish. 

 

#itzulia It's warm up time for @albertocontador at Pais Vasco as he takes on the challenge of winning the GC! https://t.co/X2T3BpF0Mm

@tinkoff_team Sat, 9th Apr 2016 13:55:15

#itzulia: @FabioFelline is on a good ride. He had the best intermediate split time.

@TrekSegafredo Sat, 9th Apr 2016 13:54:58

Don't forget you can listen to our latest CN podcast - it looks back at Tom Boonen's breakthrough at Paris-Roubaix in 2002. Listen to it, right here.

 

The rain is falling in full force and that's going to disrupt Sanchez on the descent. Moreno is out of the course and heading towards the start of the climb.

 

#Itzulia @Ludvigsson94 is 3rd provisional at the finish in a time of 31:31

@GiantAlpecin Sat, 9th Apr 2016 13:58:22

As we thought Sanchez isn't taking too many risks on the descent. Moreno is climbing well at the moment but no time checks for him at the moment. Belgian TT national champ Jurgen Van Den Broeck who replaced Moreno at Katusha during the winter is now on the climb. 


Cummings was third at the first time check. 

 

5,4,3,2, Mollema. The Dutchman starts his effort as Yates goes 48 seconds fastest at the intermediate time check. That's a very impressive ride by the British rider. At the finish Felline goes fastest by seven seconds over Cataldo.

 

Adam Yates is just a few kms away from setting the best time so far. The road has evened out but he still appears to be gaining time. 

 

Yates has caught Monfort - that's impressive as we see Kreuziger take on the descent at full tilt. 

 

At the Polanc finishes in 6th on the stage. 

 

Rui Costa is up and running and the Lampre rider sprints out of the saddle as Krueziger continues to dash down the descent as if his salary depended on it. The motos are struggling to stay with him. Impressive stuff from the Tinkoff man.

 

Rosa goes second at the firs time check, but he's still 30 seconds off the pace of Adam Yates. 

 

Wilco Kelderman starts his time trial. A day after he crashed and lost the lead here in Pais Vasco. 

 

Kreuziger is now approaching the final climb before the line as Yates comes to the line 41 seconds fastest. That's an incredible effort from the Orica GreenEdge rider.

 

Back to Paris Roubaix for a moment and we have this feature/gallery on Peter Sagan's Specialized bike for tomorrow's bike. Here's the story

 

Interesting, Lopez is just two seconds off Yates at the intermediate as Quintana starts his time trial.

 

Quintana was off the pace yesterday but he could put in a very strong time today. A reminder of the top ten coming into the stage:

1 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 22:15:24
2 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 0:00:06
3 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 0:00:10
4 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:12
5 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:00:31
6 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:38
7 Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:01:00
8 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 0:01:07
9 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida 0:01:09
10 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ 0:01:11

 

The GC contenders in the top ten start at two minute intervals and Sammie Sanchez is the next rider off. The crowds give him a cheer as Landa starts to climb. He's on a time trial bike. 

 

And Van Den Broek takes second on the stage, 36 seconds off the pace of Yates. Rodriguez now starts his time trial.

Correction, Landa is on his road bike but has time trial bars. 

 

Fabian Cancellara arrives with @TrekSegafredo #ParisRoubaix https://t.co/dF1cjSAXkw

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sat, 9th Apr 2016 14:23:39

Gesink now comes to the line and takes 13th on the line. Nothing to really write home about for the Dutchman but Pinot starts his time trial. Lets see what the FDJ leader can do. 

 

Contador starts his time trial. What can the Spaniard do today? It's all on the line for the stage and the GC.

 

Up the road Rui Costa is spinning along nicely as lower down the climb Rodriguez attacks the lower slopes.

 

1 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 30:06:00
2 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Team Katusha 0:00:36
3 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 00:00:40
4 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 00:00:50
5 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:00:57

 

Henao is in the start house now and he'll start his effort soon. Can the Team Sky rider hold off Contador and Pinot to take the win?

 

Lopez takes second on the line, 28 seconds down on Yates. Does the Orica GreenEdge rider has the stage in the bag?

 

1 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 0:30:06
2 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Team Katusha 0:00:36
3 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 00:00:40
4 Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 00:00:50
5 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:00:57

 

1 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 0:30:06
2 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:00:28
2 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Team Katusha 0:00:36
4 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 00:00:40
5 Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Sky 00:00:44

 

No time checks yet for Contador, Pinot, or Henao but all three are on the major climb of the day. 

 

1 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 0:30:06
2 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:00:28
3 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:00:33
4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Team Katusha 0:00:36
5 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 00:00:38

 

Not great from Mollema, 26th on the day as we see Landa make his way to the finish. He's on the last part of the climb but he's not going to challenge for the stage win today after being a minute down on Yates at the first time check.

 

Well Quintana is 28 seconds faster than Yates at the first time check. 

 

Rodriguez is about to hit the intermediate time check as he grits his teeth and lurches out of the saddle. 

 

1 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 0:30:06
2 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:00:28
3 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:00:33
4 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Team Katusha 0:00:36
5 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha 00:00:38

 

Pinot goes through the time check but like with Rodriguez there's no information on his time. 

 

Here comes Landa...20th on the stage 1''11 down on Yates. 

 

Rodriguez was 4th at the time check, 48 seconds down on Quintana. The Movistar man was only 36 seconds off the lead at the start of the race...

 

The Movistar leader is now on the final climb to the line and he's still looking strong. 

 

Quintana is flying. We dont have time checks on the top three but he's stopped for a bike change. 

 

He's on a pure TT bike. That seemed like a planned change but he's lost a few seconds there. Will that be worth it in the end?

 

Henao is still on the main section of the climb and riding well it seems. No time checks yet for the Team Sky man though. 

 

At the finish Kelderman takes 23rd. 

 

Contador 23 seconds faster than Quintana at the first time check. Henao at 46 seconds and Pinot at more than a minute back. The Tinkoff rider is riding towards the stage and the overall but there's still a long way to go. 

 

Quintana comes to the line and he's fastest, although there's no time check at the moment. Who needs finishing times in a time trial?

 

At this moment in time I'd guess that Quintana has put himself close to if not on the podium. Contador looks to be in control based off the time checks we saw at the intermediate time check. 

 

Contador looks pretty descent on the time trial descent, as does race leader Henao. 

 

1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:29:11
2 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:48
3 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida 0:01:11
4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 0:01:16
5 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:01:21

 

Sanchez finishes 59 seconds down on Quintana.

 

As Contador sprints up this final sector of climbing. He looks so fluid when riding out of the saddle in his road bike.

 

No bike change for Contador as he hunches over the bars. Rodriguez is well down and that means Quintana is closer to the podium. I think he'll get second or third based off the times we've seen so far.

1km to go for Pinot but he's a lot of ground to make up on Quintana. 

 

1km to go for Contador who is closing on Pinot. 

 

Pinot 4th 1'04 down on Quintana. 

 

Contador is sprinter out of the corners. 

 

Now the final drag to the line for Contador. He takes the stage by less than a second from Quintana. 

 

Just Henao to come now. That bikes change for Quintana, did it cost him the stage win? 

 

Henao has to get to the finish in less than a minute in order to save his leader's jersey. 

 

The Team Sky rider has picked up time but he's not going to save his race lead. 

 

Third on the stage for Henao. 18 seconds down on the time of Contador. 

 

Sergio Henao gave it all he had in the #itzulia TT, finishing in 3rd place, 18sec behind stage winner Alberto Contador.

@TeamSky Sat, 9th Apr 2016 14:57:59

So Contador takes the stage, seconds ahead of Quintana, and with Henao in third at 18 seconds. 

 

1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 00:29:13
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:00:05
3 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 00:00:18
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 00:00:53
5 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 00:01:04
6 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 00:01:09
7 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 00:01:16
8 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida 00:01:16
9 Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team 00:01:21
10 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 00:01:26

 


“It’s unbelievable . I wasn’t really sure where my form was coming into this race but it’s right where it needs to be,” Contador said at the finish.

“It’s only a handful of seconds but it’s still a very special feeling to win here and I’m really happy with my victory.”

 



Final general classification after stage 6
1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 22:44:43
2 Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky 00:00:12
3 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:00:37
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 00:01:13
5 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 00:01:22
6 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 00:01:29
7 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre - Merida 00:02:19
8 Simon Spilak (Slo) Team Katusha 00:02:47
9 Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling 00:02:52
10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 00:03:14

 

Thanks for joining us today. You can find our results, report and photos, right here.


We'll be back tomorrow with full live coverage from Paris-Roubaix. See you then!

 

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