Vuelta al País Vasco (st. 3)
Valverde keeps his 2nd overall in País Vasco after uneventful ride to Bilbao on day three. Matthews (OGE) grabs sprint victory
Almost one hundred riders came together to Gasteiz Street in Vitoria for the end of day three in the Vuelta al País Vasco, a 195km route with only four minor elevations that really had only two protagonists: Spaniard Rubén Fernández (CJR), with a solo break caught into the final circuit, and Aussie Michael Matthews (OGE), who dominated the sprint to claim the day’s honours.
The Movistar Team protected well Alejandro Valverde’s second place overall all day, especially with the Izagirre brothers through the fast-paced climbs of Gasteiz and Zaldiaran. No particular events to signal before Thursday’s big fight on the slopes of Usartza (Cat-1), set to lead the Itzulia into the traditional finish in the Santuario de Arrate (151km). Before the 7.3km climb from Eibar awaits the classic trek over Asentzio (Cat-2), Karabieta (Cat-2), Ixua (Cat-1) and San Miguel (Cat-2.)