Julian Alaphilippe hails team-mates after 'brutal' second stage win in Tour of the Basque Country
Race leader Julian Alaphilippe made it back-to-back stage victories on the second day of the Tour of the Basque Country (Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco).
The Quick-Step Floors rider, who edged Primoz Roglic to stage one victory in Zarautz, repeated the trick on Tuesday by again beating the Slovenian to the line after a 168-kilometre race to Bermeo.
Alaphilippe and Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) contested the finish alongside Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) and Mikel Landa (Movistar) after the quartet broke clear in the final 10kms. And just like on Monday, Roglic led coming out of the final corner but it was Alaphilippe who claimed stage victory and the full bonus seconds.
And the rider was keen to hail his team-mates after the stage, saying:
" It’s crazy! I was already happy with my win on stage one and having the yellow jersey on my shoulders, so to take another victory is just incredible. We’re on a fantastic run of success, we’re winning everywhere and seeing how the team performs only gives us more confidence. Two victories in two days and three jerseys it’s a great harvest for our squad, but we don’t want to stop here."
" The stage was on from the start and the crosswinds made it even more brutal, but fortunately I have a great team around me, who set an incredible pace at the front of the bunch, keeping the attackers on a leash, and a very strong Enric, who played a big role in my victory. Unlike yesterday, I had no idea on the final, but stayed calm and confident in my legs and sprint. Despite taking some more bonus seconds and increasing my advantage in the GC, I’m not changing my goal and will continue to take it day by day."
Izagirre took third ahead of Landa, with the nearest chasers 15 seconds behind.
Alaphilippe’s lead in the yellow jersey stretched to eight seconds ahead of Roglic, who has a 31-second cushion to third-placed Izagirre.
Wednesday’s stage three is a 184.8km ride to Valdegovia before Thursday’s individual time trial in Lodosa.
1. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors, in 8-29-13
2. Primož Roglič (Slo) LottoNL-Jumbo, at 8 secs
3. Gorka Izagirre (Esp) Bahrain-Merida, at 39 secs
4. Mikel Landa (Esp) Movistar, at 43 secs
5. Pello Bilbao (Esp) Astana, at 54 secs
6. Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 58 secs
7. Enric Mas (Esp) Quick-Step Floors, at 58 secs
8. Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 58 secs
9. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ, at 58 secs