Despite a hilly profile, the first bunch race of Itzulia Basque Country (2.UWT) ended in a sprint this Tuesday and enabled Quinten Hermans to achieve his first podium in a World Tour event.
One day after the opening prologue, the longest stage of the event crossed the Navarra province in 207 kilometer. Immediately after the start in Leitza, an early breakaway of four Spanish riders was formed on the slopes of Uitzi (3,7km à 6,9%), the first of three categorized climbs.
Their advantage of four minutes melted on the Aguilar Gaina climb (12,7 km à 3,1%), so the four men were 2 minutes ahead of the peloton on the top, with 30 kilometer to go.
A peloton started the downhill towards Viana and caught the last survivor in sight of the slightly upward finish. At the end of his fifth race day of the season, Hermans took third place in the slipstream of winner Julian Alaphilippe thanks to a powerful effort. Thanks to the bonificatie seconds, he climbs into the top twenty of the provisional classification.