The fierce climb of the day just 10 kilometres before the final could predict the arrival of just a small group of contenders for the victory. But both the rain in the final part and the short stage (50 kilometres) made the riders take the stage with caution and think about the days to come. Nothing to win and much to lose was probably the motto for the GC contenders.
Thus, the group of favourites who crossed the QOM in the first positions saw themselves caught in the flat final kilometres by a 20 rider bunch who had both Alé-Cipollini and VéloConcept Women working hard to drive their sprinters towards the victory. In the end, Italian ex-World Champion Marta Bastianelli from Alé-Cipollini grabbed a confortable victory and sees herself wearing the white leader’s jersey.
Ashleigh Moolman from Cervélo-Bigla is wearing the climber’s jersey, whereas her team-mate Danish Cecilie Uttrup-Ludwig is the best U-23 thanks to her sprint for 3 bonus seconds. The Swiss team was awarded with the best team of the day.
As regards the sprint classification, British Katie Archibald (WNT) is wearing the blue jersey (funny enough, her own team sponsors this classification). The best Basque rider was Ane Santesteban.
Full results here:
Today from 14:00h we hit the second stage, a mid-mountain profile in Markina-Xemein. Will it be another bunch sprint? Expect pouring rain!