Fraile takes out intense País Vasco stage to Eibar

Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) tightened his grip on the overall race lead at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, finishing second on the hilly stage to Eibar. His closest rival Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) cracked on the final climb of the day as Movistar blew the race apart and faded from the podium positions.

Omar Fraile (Astana) won the stage, dominating the sprint after the strongest of the overall contenders and a small group of quality riders from the breakaway came together on the category 1 Azurki Gaina climb and descent inside 20km to go.

Fraile made sure to position himself at the back of the rotation as Roglic, Mikel Landa and Ion Izagirre's Bahrain-Merida teammate Mark Padun worked to improve their respective overall positions.

Izagirre received a nice lead-out from his Ukranian teammate, but timed it wrong, giving Fraile the jump on the finishing stretch. Roglic smartly took the bonus seconds for second, padding his lead as his biggest rivals were also distanced.

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo), third before the stage, finished in the first chase group timed at 1:27 and dropped down to fifth. Alaphilippe finishing a disappointed 2:14 behind, dropping from second to fourth overall, now 2:55 down on Roglic.

Izagirre and Landa's efforts moved them up to second and third overall, respectively, after finishing in the same time Roglic. Izagirre is at 2:13 with Landa at 2:17.

They will now try to take on Roglic on Saturday's final mountain stage with the steep uphill finish to Arrate set to decide the final overall winner.

How it happened

The 163km stage was anticipated to be a warm-up for Saturday's final showdown, with LottoNL-Jumbo expected to let a break steal the glory of the day. How wrong we were.

The only riders absent after the time trial were Michael Storer (Sunweb) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), who headed home to treat a nasty saddle sore. Everyone else enjoyed another aggressive day of racing in the Basque sunshine.

A headwind on the high plateau made it difficult for attacks to get away but a 13-rider move was given its freedom after 35km. They quickly opened a 5:00 gap with little sign of nervousness in the peloton behind.

José Rojas (Movistar), Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale), Omar Fraile (Astana), José Herrada, Daniel Teklehaimanot (Cofidis,) Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida), Jay McCarthy (Bora-hansgrohe), Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal), Michael Albasini, Carlos Verona (Mitchelton-Scott), Alex Howes (EF-Drapac), Jonathan Castroviejo (Sky), Jai Hindley (Sunweb) and Matteo Bono (UAE-Emirates) were the adventurers of the day.

Teklehaimanot was the first to be dropped as Movistar set the tempo behind, clearly with a plan of action for later.

The second half of the stage included three steep climbs and was ideal terrain for attacks. The first, the Elosua Giana, was 8.1km in length and saw Movistar turn up the pace, especially near the summit and over the top. The pace was also high in the breakaway with Rojas, Fraile, Latour, Padun, Verona and Castroviejo going clear. The leaders came back together on the descent and so did the peloton, with Roglic happy to see two LottoNL-Jumbo teammates get back on after momentarily being isolated.

There was a pause in the racing on the valley road but the Endoia Gaina - Azurki Gaina climbs came in the final 35km of racing, a tough double whammy, with a total of 12.5km of ascending.

Early on slopes of the Endoia Gaina climb, the Movistar team put its card on the table with Landa going on the attack. He was on a mission and after several accelerations, Julian Alaphilippe was dropped. Roglic, Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) and David De la Cruz (Team Sky) joined him and they pushed clear. Alaphilippe was suffering and deep in the red, with only Enric Mas to help him.

Uran and De la Cruz cracked, slipping back to the chasers and Quintana was not there but Landa pushed on, keen to earn as much time as possible and perhaps crack Roglic.

Verona – who earlier had exchanged heated words with Fraile - attacked on the Azurki Gaina. He got a gap but was soon caught as the attackers and the remains of the breakaway formed for the descent. The gap to the chasers was close to a minute, with Alaphilippe even further back.

Up front were Carlos Verona (Mitchelton-Scott), Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo), Mikel Landa (Movistar), Jon Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida), Omar Fraile (Astana), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) and Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida).

Despite some attacks they stayed together with Fraile strongest and leading out the sprint to win by a couple of bike lengths. He was the winner of the day but Roglic now seems in total charge, with only Saturday's 122km stage and its eight nasty climbs standing between him and overall victory.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team3:53:49
2Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo0:00:04
3Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:00:06
4Carlos Verona (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott0:00:10
5Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 4 - Cell 2
6Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida0:00:25
8Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:01:37
9Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team EmiratesRow 8 - Cell 2
10Jai Hindley (Aus) Team SunwebRow 9 - Cell 2
11Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 10 - Cell 2
12David De La Cruz (Spa) Team SkyRow 11 - Cell 2
13Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 12 - Cell 2
14Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 13 - Cell 2
15Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 14 - Cell 2
16Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 15 - Cell 2
17Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Sky0:02:01
19Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors0:02:25
20Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 19 - Cell 2
21Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 20 - Cell 2
22Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:58
24Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 23 - Cell 2
25Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 24 - Cell 2
26Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 25 - Cell 2
27Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 26 - Cell 2
28Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 27 - Cell 2
29Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 28 - Cell 2
30Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Trek-SegafredoRow 29 - Cell 2
31Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 30 - Cell 2
32Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 31 - Cell 2
33Igor Anton (Spa) Dimension DataRow 32 - Cell 2
34Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 33 - Cell 2
35Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-MeridaRow 34 - Cell 2
36Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 35 - Cell 2
37Oscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos BHRow 36 - Cell 2
38Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 38 - Cell 2
40Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Katusha-AlpecinRow 39 - Cell 2
41Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension DataRow 40 - Cell 2
42Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:05
43Julen Amezqueta Moreno (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:42
44Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 43 - Cell 2
45Nathan Brown (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 44 - Cell 2
46José Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 46 - Cell 2
48Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar TeamRow 47 - Cell 2
49Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 48 - Cell 2
50Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates0:07:14
51Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Team SunwebRow 50 - Cell 2
52Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 51 - Cell 2
53Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-AlpecinRow 52 - Cell 2
54Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 53 - Cell 2
55Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 54 - Cell 2
56Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-SegafredoRow 56 - Cell 2
58Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 57 - Cell 2
59Floris De Tier (Bel) LottoNL-JumboRow 58 - Cell 2
60Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb0:09:35
61Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-HansgroheRow 60 - Cell 2
62Anass Ait El Abdia (Mar) UAE Team EmiratesRow 61 - Cell 2
63Jordi Simon Casulleras (Spa) Burgos BH0:10:36
64Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 63 - Cell 2
65Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 64 - Cell 2
66Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) Dimension DataRow 65 - Cell 2
67Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:15:31
68Alex Howes (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 67 - Cell 2
69Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team SunwebRow 68 - Cell 2
70Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton-Scott0:19:15
71Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
72Chad Haga (USA) Team SunwebRow 71 - Cell 2
73Benjamin King (USA) Dimension DataRow 72 - Cell 2
74Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team SkyRow 73 - Cell 2
75Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 74 - Cell 2
76Peter Stetina (USA) Trek-SegafredoRow 75 - Cell 2
77Ian Boswell (USA) Katusha-AlpecinRow 76 - Cell 2
78Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 77 - Cell 2
79Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 78 - Cell 2
80Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar TeamRow 80 - Cell 2
82Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 81 - Cell 2
83Jon Irisarri Rincon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 82 - Cell 2
84Enrico Battaglin (Ita) LottoNL-JumboRow 83 - Cell 2
85Steff Cras (Bel) Katusha-AlpecinRow 84 - Cell 2
86Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-AlpecinRow 85 - Cell 2
87Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-JumboRow 86 - Cell 2
88Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 87 - Cell 2
89Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 88 - Cell 2
90Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 89 - Cell 2
91Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 90 - Cell 2
92Brendan Canty (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 91 - Cell 2
93Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos BHRow 92 - Cell 2
94Pablo Torres Muiño (Spa) Burgos BHRow 93 - Cell 2
95Aritz Bagues Kalparsoro (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 94 - Cell 2
96Aleksandr Riabushenko (Blr) UAE Team EmiratesRow 95 - Cell 2
97Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 96 - Cell 2
98Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 97 - Cell 2
99Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 98 - Cell 2
100James Knox (GBr) Quick-Step FloorsRow 99 - Cell 2
101David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team SkyRow 100 - Cell 2
102Willie Smit (RSA) Katusha-AlpecinRow 101 - Cell 2
103Matteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 102 - Cell 2
104Romain Seigle (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 103 - Cell 2
105Léo Vincent (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 104 - Cell 2
106Manuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 105 - Cell 2
107Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 106 - Cell 2
108Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 107 - Cell 2
109Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 108 - Cell 2
110Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 109 - Cell 2
111Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 110 - Cell 2
112Eros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 111 - Cell 2
113Simon Gerrans (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 112 - Cell 2
114Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension DataRow 113 - Cell 2
115Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-MeridaRow 114 - Cell 2
116Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 115 - Cell 2
117Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension DataRow 116 - Cell 2
118Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-ScottRow 117 - Cell 2
119Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:19:53
120Sepp Kuss (USA) LottoNL-JumboRow 119 - Cell 2
121Nelson Andres Soto Martinez (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 120 - Cell 2
122Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 121 - Cell 2
123Rob Power (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 122 - Cell 2
124Zhandos Bizhigitov (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 123 - Cell 2
125Ibai Salas Zorrozua (Spa) Burgos BHRow 124 - Cell 2
126Fernando Barcelo Aragon (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 125 - Cell 2
127Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 126 - Cell 2
128Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 127 - Cell 2
129Igor Merino Kortazar (Spa) Burgos BHRow 128 - Cell 2
130Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team SkyRow 129 - Cell 2
131Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension DataRow 130 - Cell 2
132Paul Martens (Ger) LottoNL-JumboRow 131 - Cell 2
133Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team SkyRow 132 - Cell 2
134Enrique Sanz Unzue (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 133 - Cell 2
135Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana Pro TeamRow 134 - Cell 2
136Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 135 - Cell 2
137Rúben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-SegafredoRow 136 - Cell 2
138Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:19:57
139Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 138 - Cell 2
140Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 139 - Cell 2
141Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-SegafredoRow 140 - Cell 2
142Benoit Vaugrenard (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 141 - Cell 2
143Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 142 - Cell 2
144Moreno Moser (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:22:05
145Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:23:15
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Sprint 1 - Bergara Zubieta, km 96.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb3pts
2Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe1Row 2 - Cell 3
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Sprint 2 Loiola, km 118.2
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits3pts
2Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb2Row 1 - Cell 3
3Carlos Verona (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott1Row 2 - Cell 3
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team25pts
2Primoz Roglic (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo20Row 1 - Cell 3
3Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida16Row 2 - Cell 3
4Carlos Verona (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott14Row 3 - Cell 3
5Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits12Row 4 - Cell 3
6Mikel Landa (Spa) Movistar Team10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott5Row 10 - Cell 3
12David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale1Row 14 - Cell 3
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Mountain 1 (Cat. 2) Elosua, km 105
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida6pts
2Carlos Verona (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott4Row 1 - Cell 3
3Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Sky1Row 3 - Cell 3
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Mountain 2 (Cat. 2) Endoia, km 135.8
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida6pts
2Carlos Verona (Spa) Mitchelton-Scott4Row 1 - Cell 3
3Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb1Row 3 - Cell 3
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Mountain 3 (Cat. 1) Azurki, km 144.6
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3