Events

Pais Vasco: Good times roll on for Quick-Step with Alaphilippe win

Julian Alaphilippe wins stage 1 of Vuelta al Pais Vasco the day after his teammate Niki Terpstra won Tour of Flanders.

The spring season keeps bearing fruit for the Quick-Step Floors team with Julian Alaphilippe winning stage 1 of Vuelta al Pais Vasco the day after his teammate Niki Terpstra won Tour of Flanders.

Alaphilippe got the better of LottoNL-Jumbo’s ski jumper-cum-cyclist Primoz Roglic in the 162.1km stage around Zarautz, Spain.

Pello Bilbao (Astana) sprinted to third place out of a group select group of 14 riders, 23 seconds back, that included overall contenders Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac), Mikel Landa (Movistar), and Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale).

Alaphilippe was the only rider able to stick with Roglic on the day’s steep final climb, with sections of the slope rising above a 20 percent gradient.

Following a hair-raising descent, the Frenchman edged Roglic at the line.

With bonuses factored in, Alaphilippe holds a four-second lead over Roglic, with Pello Bilbao of Spain half a minute behind in third going into Tuesday’s 153km run from Zarautz to Bermeo.

“I’m really happy. After a good week of training, I wanted to test my condition here,” said Alaphilippe, who is already looking ahead to this month’s Ardennes classics.

“To win here is good for my motivation before the classics in Belgium.”

For Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), 24th in Sunday’s Tour of Flanders, the transition from cobbled roads to steep climbs proved a tough one as the Italian dropped back on the final ascent to finish a minute back of Alaphilippe.

The six-day race continues Tuesday with another hilly day in stage 2. Alaphilippe will defend his overall lead in a 152.7km race from Zarautz to Bermeo.

Top 10, stage 1

  • 1. Julian Alaphilippe, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in 4:17:46
  • 2. Primož RogliČ, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, s.t.
  • 3. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :23
  • 4. Enric Mas Nicolau, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, s.t.
  • 5. Gorka Izaguirre Insausti, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, s.t.
  • 6. Emanuel Buchmann, BORA – HANSGROHE, s.t.
  • 7. Patrick Konrad, BORA – HANSGROHE, s.t.
  • 8. Jelle Vanendert, LOTTO SOUDAL, s.t.
  • 9. Romain Bardet, AG2R LA MONDIALE, s.t.
  • 10. Nairo Quintana, MOVISTAR TEAM, s.t.

Top-10 overall

  • 1. Julian Alaphilippe, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, in 4:17:36
  • 2. Primož RogliČ, TEAM LOTTO NL – JUMBO, at :04
  • 3. Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :29
  • 4. Enric Mas Nicolau, QUICK – STEP FLOORS, at :33
  • 5. Gorka Izaguirre Insausti, BAHRAIN – MERIDA, s.t.
  • 6. Emanuel Buchmann, BORA – HANSGROHE, s.t.
  • 7. Patrick Konrad, BORA – HANSGROHE, s.t.
  • 8. Jelle Vanendert, LOTTO SOUDAL, s.t.
  • 9. Romain Bardet, AG2R LA MONDIALE, s.t.
  • 10. Nairo Quintana, MOVISTAR TEAM, s.t.