The UCI World Tour continues next week with the Vuelta al Pais Vasco taking place from the 2nd to 7th April. The 6 stage event will include some of the toughest climbs the Basque Country has to offer.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka is all set to start the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, or Tour of the Basque Country as it is commonly known, starting this Monday the 2nd April. This year 5 big climbing stages are only separated by a flat 19km individual time trial, which will make up stage 4.
Our African Team will have a number of punchy climbers ready to duke it out with the worlds best, over the course of the week. Our climbing group will consist of Tom-Jelte Slagter, Serge Pauwels, Ben King, Lachlan Morton, Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier and Igor Anton.
Steve Cummings returns to the Basque Country race too, with fond memories of winning a stage in the 2016 edition. Stevo will no doubt be looking for a strong result on the stage 4 time trial and then targeting an attack on any one of the road stages.
While 5 of the 6 stages are all weighted heavily towards the climbers, only the final stage can be considered to be a summit finish. This should ensure an open and exciting race with the time trial playing a key role in deciding the overall GC.
Bingen Fernandez – Sport Director
Tour of the Basque Country will be a very difficult race and if you look to the startlist, there are many big names here, all close to the top of their form. For us, we will look to take our opportunities and win a stage. If we find ourselves in a smaller group with the likes of Valverde, Landa or the Izaguirre brothers, we really have nothing to lose so can race positively. We will look to guys like Serge Pauwels, Ben King and Tom-Jelte Slagter, if they can get into key moves then maybe we can feature on GC too. The time trial will be important for GC but it is also a stage that Steve Cummings can target, so we have options this week and we will be part of the race every day.