Teuns Continues to Test His Legs at Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco6. April 2018, Eibar (ESP) — Road Team
Stage 5 proved to be one of the toughest days at Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco so far with the action heating up early and a fierce battle of the General Classification contenders playing out as Dylan Teuns continued to test his legs on the race’s challenging parcours.
The penultimate day of racing began on a 70km plateau and then descended towards the bottom of the first of three categorized climbs with the summit of the last one coming with just 22km to go.
BMC Racing Team was helping to drive the early pace and was involved in the opening attacks before a 13-rider group went clear and built up an advantage that was sitting at almost five minutes after 40km of racing.
The gap remained stable over the first half of the stage with race leader Primož Roglič’s Team LottoNL-Jumbo teammates controlling the front of the peloton.
Heading towards the summit of the Elosua Gaina, the peloton began to pick up the pace and this not only saw the gap to the leaders start to fall quickly but it also forced splits to form in the peloton.
After a brief period of excitement, the race settled down once again with the main bunch regrouping around three minutes behind the breakaway going past the 40km to go mark.
Just 10km later, Mikel Landa (Movistar Team), Ion Izagirre (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team) and Roglič attacked off the front of the peloton and were able to distance themselves from a reduced bunch, which still included Teuns, while up ahead just seven riders remained in front.
On the descent of the final climb, the Azurki Gaina, the chasing group, which had now swept up three riders from the early breakaway, was only 30 seconds behind the lone leader, Carlos Verona (Mitchelton-SCOTT), with the next main group on the road another 40 seconds back.
With 15km to go, Verona was caught by the chasers and it looked clear that this group would go on to battle for the stage win as the gap to the next group was around one minute and growing.
In the end, it was Omar Fraile (Astana Pro Team), one of the riders who went clear at the beginning of the stage, who sprinted to take the win from the leading group ahead of Roglič and Izagirre.
Teuns, who has been gaining form on every stage in the Basque Country, continued to push himself in the final kilometers of the day and was BMC Racing Team’s first rider across the line, finishing 2’25” back in the third group on the road.
After three tough opening stages, and giving his all on yesterday’s time trial, Patrick Bevin stopped racing on stage 5.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“On the first climb, I was in a pretty good position and I went over the top with all of the GC guys. Even there everyone was on the limit so it was a really hard pace being set. Then, going onto the next climb, it was still really fast but I kept well-positioned. The closer to the top we got, it was harder with the wind. I dropped back a little bit but I was able to come back. However, on the final climb, the GC guys started to attack again. I dropped back again at this point and eventually finished in the third group but I am still happy with my race so far. It is going well at the moment and every day I am feeling better and better.”
Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco
Stage 5: Vitoria-Gasteiz > Eibar, 164.7km
Top 3: 1. Omar Fraile (Astana Pro Team) 2. Primož Roglič (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) 3. Ion Izagirre (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 22. Dylan Teuns 56. Alessandro De Marchi 71. Richie Porte