Gorraiz - On-form Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe burst to a hilltop win on stage 2
of the Tour of the Basque Country on Tuesday while overnight leader
Maximilian Schachmann held on to the overall lead.
On a hilly stage which featured several dirt road sections a select
group of around 40 formed even before going up the final short climb
with a tricky eight percent gradient.
One man not in that group was Adam Yates, whose recent run of poor
luck in finishing runner up twice in one-week tours, continued when the
British climber lost 1min 10sec due to a puncture.
"The final, with a climb like this, was perfect for me I knew that
Michel Kwiatkowski was strong, so I followed him," Alaphilippe explained
after beating Bjorg Lambrecht and Sky's Kwiatkowski by a single second.
"I'm really happy to take another win," added the one day specialist who won the Milan-San Remo classic two weeks ago.
In another incident Alaphilippe said sorry after the race to
Schachmann for clipping him in the final struggle for the stage win.
Schachmann of the Bora-Hansgrohe team won the 11.2km opening day
individual time trial and still holds an overall lead of five seconds on
1. Maximilian Schachmann (Ger-Bora) 03hrs 36mins 44sec, 2. Julian
Alaphilippe (Fra-QST) at 05sec, 3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol-Sky) 10, 4.
Daniel Martinez (Col-EF) 18, 5. Ion Izagirre (ESP-Ast) 23, 6. Patrick
Konrad (Aut-Bora) 23, 7. Enric Mas (ESP-QST) 28, 8. Dylan Teuns
(Bel-Bah) 36, 9. Daniel Martin (Irl-UAE) 39, 10. Emanuel Buchmann