The Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco is the next World Tour stage race on the cycling calendar, starting on Monday 4th April in Etxebarria and ending after 6 stages on Saturday 9 April in Eibar.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka head into the Tour of the Basque country, as it is known, with a strong climbing contingent as every stage will once again suit either the punchers or climbers. Even the final stage, which is a 16.5km time trial sends riders straight uphill. Stage 2 and 5 are your summit finish stages where if you are hoping to do a good GC result, you will have to perform. Stage 1, 3 and 4 are where the punchers should come into their own while the sprinters might get lucky on one or two of these stages but that may be a long shot.
Either way, the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco has traditionally been an action packed event with the leader’s jersey changing shoulders on a number of occasions. Our African Team will hope to challenge for individual stage victories while keeping close tabs on a good classification result as a possibility as well.
Our two Basque riders, Igor Anton and Omar Fraile will be motivated to perform well at their home race while Steve Cummings will also start the Basque race for our African Team. Our Eritrean trio of Daniel Teklehaimanot, Natnael Berhane and Mekseb Debesay look forward to showing their strengths on a course which suits their abilities. The consistently strong Serge Pauwles and Johann van Zyl complete our line-up for the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
It will be a very tough race and also, the weather does not look too good for the next week. Just like at Volta Catalunya, there will be a high quality field at Pais Vasco with some of the big names like Nairo Quintana, Fabio Aru and Dan Martin racing. Our first and main objective will be to go for a stage win, just as we tried to at Volta Catalunya. The guys are ready for this and thankfully the guys are also looking better than at Catalunya, where we had a number of guys suffering with illness issues. Here the guys look healthier so on a daily basis we will try to be positive in our approach and go on the offensive as much as possible, trying to get into the good moves. To win a stage from the break will be a highlight for us and on top of that, if the opportunity to take a jersey like the KOM or sprint jersey comes, we will take that opportunity and we will commit to being the final winner of that jersey.