Landa up to GC 9th in eventful Estibaliz finish; Rojas into long break

10 April 2019
Landa up to GC 9th in eventful Estibaliz finish; Rojas into long break

Vuelta al País Vasco (et. 3)

Crash with 6km remaining takes Winner Anacona out of top places overall, yet with no injuries; Mikel takes 12th in uphill finish after another great escape from José Joaquín, caught with 4km to go.

Race leader Max Schachmann (BOH) took the victory at a chaotic stage three finish in the 2019 Itzulia Basque Country, over the gentle slopes -1.5km at 4.5%- of the Santuario de Estibaliz (Álava). A pile-up with just six kilometers remaining involved big names such as Michal Kwiatkowski, Geraint Thomas (SKY), Julian Alaphilippe and Enric Mas (DQT), as well as Winner Anacona (Movistar Team), who did not sustain any injuries yet conceded more than a minute over the line.

The difficult sprint was preceeded by a long breakaway from José Joaquín Rojas, which started 15km into Wednesday’s route and was caught by the remnants of the peloton four kilometers before the end of the longest stage in the Itzulia. Mikel Landa, well supported by Anacona, Rubén Fernández and a solid Carlos Verona near the finish, crossed the line in 12th place and now sits in 9th overall, 1’16” behind Schachmann.

Rojas during his breakaway on stage three. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

The first significant, chained climbs in this year’s Itzulia will start on Thursday’s stage four, Vitoria to Arrigorriaga (163km). Las Campas (Cat-3), Garate (Cat-3) and Bikotz Gane (Cat-1) will preceed the decisive Zaratamo (Cat-3), a four-kilometer ascent with a first half peaking at 7%, a small descent and 500m at 10% before the summit, just 2km from the end.

REACTION / Mikel Landa:

“I was quite close to the crash. It really scares you when you see something like that, it’s not pleasant at all. There were many favourites down and that made many team disappear from the front of the bunch at the end. Those like us who could hang on there were a bit more comfortable with the positioning work, but it’s never good to feel calm when others are down. There’s no easy days in País Vasco, there’s no easy finish; today’s stage was a long, stressful one, another difficult day. Schachmann? I don’t know how far he can get in this race. He was already so strong at the Volta a Catalunya, though here the climbs are different, really tough and steep – let’s see what he can do.”

Cover picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport

Male Team 08 - 13 Apr

Itzulia Basque Country

(3rd Stage) Sarriguren - Estibaliz (191.4 km)
  1. 01 Max Schachmann Bora-Hansgrohe 4h47'57"
  2. 02 Diego Ulissi UAE Team Emirates "
  3. 03 Enrico Battaglin Katusha-Alpecin "
  4. 12 Mikel Landa Movistar Team "
  5. 20 Carlos Verona Movistar Team "
  6. 27 Rubén Fernández Movistar Team "
  7. 54 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar Team +20"
  8. 55 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team "
  9. 62 Carlos Betancur Movistar Team +25"
  10. 83 Winner Anacona Movistar Team +1'02"
See prov general ranking
  1. 01 Max Schachmann Bora-Hansgrohe 8h34'31"
  2. 02 Ion Izagirre Astana Pro Team +33"
  3. 03 Patrick Konrad Bora-Hansgrohe "
  4. 09 Mikel Landa Movistar Team +1'16"
  5. 21 Rubén Fernández Movistar Team +1'44"
  6. 22 Carlos Verona Movistar Team +1'46"
  7. 31 Winner Anacona Movistar Team +2'14"
  8. 34 Carlos Betancur Movistar Team +2'26"
  9. 36 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar Team +2'36"
  10. 46 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team +3'50"
See stage ranking