Michael Albasini (Orica-Scott) won stage 2 of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, sprinting to the win ahead of Maximiliano Richeze (Quickstep-Floors) and Sean De Bie (Lotto-Soudal). Michael Matthews (Sunweb-Giant) held on to the overall lead.
Today’s 2nd stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco took riders from Pamplona to Eltziego over a course of 173km. An early climb invited those to go on the attack and 2 riders accepted the invitation from the gun. Igor Anton, our Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka climber who was in the break yesterday, jumped after the 2 attackers and he was followed the King of the Mountains leader Yoan Bagot (Cofidis).
Anton was not able to cross to the leaders but he did take a point back at each of the first two categorised climbs over Bagot. The gap to Bagot is now down to just a single point and the competition will be a target for Anton going forward. With only 2 riders up the road, it was rather easy for the sprint teams to control the gap. The slight kicker which peaked at 6km to go, strung out the peloton and ensured it was more of a strong man sprint.
As Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka started the Tour of the Basque country without any sprinters, today was just about staying out of trouble and not losing any time. That was exactly what the team was able to do, Omar Fraile our first rider to roll across the line in 26th place. All our other riders had no problems completing the stage either.
Omar Fraile – Rider
It was a quiet day with only two riders in the breakaway. The final though was more nervous as nobody wanted to lose time and there was a small climb so it was a fight for position. My sensations are quite good at the moment but this type of sprint is difficult for me. Tomorrow we will move into terrain that suits our team so we hope to at the front of the race.