With no Izagirre brothers in the race, Nairo Quintana and his Movistar Team completed Day One of the Tour of the Basque Country without incident
Luis León Sánchez (AST) is the first leader of edition 56 of this historic race. After a first stage of no less than 8 categorised climbs between Etxebarria and Markina-Xemein (144 km), he reached the foot of the final descent from the Alto de San Miguel in the company of Dani Navarro (COF), and with sufficient advantage over the group to short change the fast finishers.
Despite some nerve-tingling descents in sporadic rain, and a couple of stinging attacks from Alberto Contador (TNK), diligently snuffed out by Nairo and his team-mates, it was, in sum, a relatively straightforward day. The Movistar Team, recovering their morale after the last-minute withdrawal of the Izagirre brothers, duly placed four of their six men in the front group: Nairo Quintana, Jesús Herrada, Giovanni Visconti and Dani Moreno (17th).
The team, a solid unit even without the brothers, tomorrow faces the first uphill finish of the week at Garrastatxu-Baranbio (2ª), a 2.7km wall averaging 11.6% in gradient, at the conclusion of a second stage with three categorised climbs, although none as cruel as today's leg-breakers.