Itzulia Basque Country
Stage 3) Sarriguen - Estibaliz
A day to forget at Vuelta al Pais Vasco
Victorious on Tuesday in Gorraiz, where he stormed to his eighth success of the season, Julian Alaphilippe was the main favourite again on the uphill finish to Estibaliz, but a pile-up at high speed, occurred while the teams were fighting for position, took down several riders, including the green jersey wearer and Enric Mas.
The Spaniard remounted immediately and helped by his Deceuninck – Quick-Step teammates tried to catch the charging peloton, but it proved to be mission impossible and the best young rider of last edition ended up conceding 1:40, his hopes of doing a good overall classification being dealt a big blow.
After being attended by the team’s medical staff, Julian climbed back on his bike and concluded the longest stage of the race twelve minutes down on winner Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-hansgrohe), before heading to the hotel, where he was assessed by the doctor.
“It doesn’t look to be anything serious, but I have some abrasions and pain, so the team will continue to monitor me overnight. I really don’t know what happened, just that it was a touch of wheels in front of me and in the next moment I was on the ground. It’s the first time in my career that I crash at high speed, but at the end of the day I am happy I could finish the stage. The only thing that we can do now is see how things go and how I feel in the morning”, an upbeat Julian said of the incident that put an end to any GC ambitions at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, where before the stage he was sitting in second overall.
Photo credit: ©Gonzalo Moreno Arroyo/ Getty Images