Schachmann, first leader in the Basque Country; Landa, 54 seconds

The German, who won a stage in the Volta, took advantage of the changing weather, while Movistar chose a bad time for their leader, when the asphalt was wet

The German Maximilian Schachmann is the first leader of the Tour of the Basque Country, after the novel time trial that opened the race in Zumarraga. "Spain brings me luck", smiled the Bora-Hansgrohe runner recalling the recent victory in the Volta. The changing weather in a day that had its main difficulty in the climb to La Antigua conditioned it. The Movistar failed in the strategy because of those unexpected clouds and nothing well received. He sought fortune early with his leader Mikel Landa, who started at 2:35 pm, with the forecast that the weather would be more benign at noon and left Rubén Fernández for the final, at 17:15. The forecasts were reversed because as the day progressed it stopped raining and the asphalt dried up, so you could risk more and the best times came. Landa entered twenty-ninth place, 54 seconds, a big disappointment, which sounds like a lot, but you do not have to take the reference of the German, since a priori it does not look like a candidate for the txapela. Alaphilippe, a runner who falls in love with Euskadi because he always attacks and is usually in the fight for victories, that is, bigger words, has an advantage of 42 over Alava, which no longer impresses so much. Of course, Movistar has now to play other cards, not wait until the end, until Saturday, because there are many runners ahead. Second was the Colombian Daniel Martinez, to 9 seconds and third, Kwiatkowski, to 10.

Era one day to improvise on the fly. Many cyclists changed the mount on foot of the climb to La Antigua. The goat is heavy, some go with a disk and it is really expensive to move it upwards. The road, more skillful in the descent, was appropriate for the last section, in areas where you can shoot very fast. The mechanics went fast at the time of moving and pushing the runners, some with the energy of Hercules. Schachmann was one of those who had planned the passage through 'boxes', but he looked very strong in the first stage and decided to continue. "I did not think that the stage fit me, I did not want to risk it because it's a ride with traps and curves, but above I saw myself winning and I was not so wet, and I played it." In the Volta already made a chrono in line in an escape in the fifth stage and it was knotted.

The stage was explosive, apt for people with good change of pace. At the first point of reference, at kilometer 6.5, Craddock and Schachmann dominated, who hammered the hands in 6 minutes and 40 seconds. Nearby Cavagna (3 seconds) and Konrad (to 5) passed. The height of the day, three kilometers from the finish, the German signed 13:30, with Martinez (Colombian champion counterreloi) very close, 7 seconds. But he was making a good time and was distancing himself 13. The veteran Tony Martin was the first important name in becoming leader of the stage, to then give way to others. Among those who highlighted the Balearic Mas, who seems willing to have a role as the second in Arrate in 2018.

The descent to Zumarraga have three curves and goes so fast that it greatly influences the expertise. Schachmann confirmed the notes he had up and nobody evicted him from the first rung. Landa was picking up pace but lost almost a minute, which forces him to be brave to aspire to that txapela that will fill him with morality for the Giro. Ion Izagirre did not take advantage of the dry asphalt and finished 22 seconds, Mas did it to 24 and Thomas (taking away Contador few Tour winners have shot in Euskadi the following year and it is a detail), at half a minute,

Classifications of the Return to the Basque Country 2019

First stage: (Zumarraga-Zumarraga, CRI 11.3 km)

.1. Maximiliam Schachmann (ALE / Bora) 17.10

.2. Daniel Felipe Martínez (COL / EF1) 17.19

.3. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL / SKY) 17.20

.4. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA / Deceuninck) 17.22

.5. Adam Yates (GBR / MIT) 17.26

.6. Patrick Konrad (AUT / Bora) 17.29

.7. Ion Izagirre (ESP / Astana) 17.32

.8. Enric Mas (ESP / Deceuninck) 17.3


.9. Geraint Thomas (GBR / Sky) 17.40

10. Hugh John Carthy (GBR / EF1) 17.41


11. Pello Bilbao (ESP / AST) 17.42

21. Rohan Dennis (AUS / BAH) 17.57

28. Mikel Landa (ESP / MOV) 18.0


38. Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP / SKY) 18.11

56. Tony Martin (ALE / JUM) 18.2


General classification

First stage: (Zumarraga-Zumarraga, CRI 11.3 km)

.1. Maximiliam Schachmann (ALE / Bora) 17.10

.2. Daniel Felipe Martínez (COL / EF1) to 9 "

.3 Michal Kwiatkowski (POL / SKY) to 10"

.4. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA / Deceuninck) to 12 "

.5 Adam Yates (GBR / MIT) to 16" 444444

.6. Patrick Konrad (AUT / Bora) to 19 "

.7, Ion Izagirre (ESP / Astana) to 22"

.8. Enric Mas (ESP / Deceuninck) at 24 "

.9 Geraint Thomas (GBR / Sky) at 30"

10. Hugh John Carthy (GBR / EF1) at 31 "


11. Pello Bilbao (ESP / AST) to 32 "

28. Mikel Landa (ESP / MOV) to 54" .

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