Young German climber Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) won his first WorldTour race Friday at Tour of the Basque Country, riding to the top of the summit finish at Arrate alone, taking the lead at the end of stage 5.
The 26-year-old ended the 150km stage with a 1:08 advantage on second place, Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida). Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) finished third on the penultimate stage.
“It’s unbelievable to win the queen stage of the race, and also to take the lead in the general classification,” Buchmann said. “I hope to be able to defend the yellow jersey tomorrow. I am optimistic, because we have a very strong team here. Every day, we try our best to win, and we’ll also try the same on tomorrow’s stage.”
Buchmann now leads Izagirre by 54 seconds in the overall. His Bora teammate, Max Schachmann, who has won three stages up until this point in the Basque tour, remains third overall after finishing the stage in ninth.
“Today was the hardest day of the race, with seven classified climbs,” said Bora sport director André Schulze. “The course went up and down the whole day. The guys worked fantastically together, and we always had the race under control. It’s an unbelievable win and the guys showed excellent teamwork. We’ll aim to take the yellow jersey home tomorrow.”
The race’s final stage on Saturday should provide plenty of opportunities for other riders to challenge Buchmann in the race for the overall title. The 188-kilometer stage 6 around Eibar, Spain includes six categorized climbs, although it ends with a descent to the finish.