The Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco reached its conclusion today in Eibar with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) time trialing his way to both the stage and overall victory. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was 2nd on the stage and Sergio Henao (Team Sky) was 3rd.
The 16km course was not one for the time trial purists at all as riders were sent straight up a vicious 5km climb before a tricky descent toward the finish, taking in another steep ramp of over 20% just before the line as well. It was no surprise when the climbers populated the top of the results sheet but Steve Cummings and Serge Pauwels both gave the hill a good bash for Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka.
When Cummings crossed the line, he had the 3rd fastest time of the day but as the big general classification contenders came home, our Brit slowly got dislodged from his high placing. Eventually Cummings would end in 31st position, 2’07” behind Contador. Pauwels also did a solid ride, ending with a time just 3 seconds off of his teammate.
In the overall general classification, Pauwels managed to climb up into the top 20 and would end this very difficult edition of the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco in 19th place for our African Team.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
It was a good week for us. We were able to achieve a stage win which was our goal. We have to be very proud of that as this is probably the hardest 1-week race in the World Tour calendar. We also had Serge in the top 20 in the GC with all the big GC guys here, there was a lot of quality. The rest of the guys did well too, if it weren’t for our 3 guys just missing the time cut yesterday we would have finished with all 8 guys. All in all, it was a good week. The guys came out of the week in good shape and healthy so now can look forward to the next races.