News | Itzulia Basque Country • April 9, 2019
Pogačar learning from the greats
The Slovenian 9th in the stage, Martin takes 9th overall
Tadej Pogačar showed his character in the Tour of the Basque Country’s second stage (Zumarraga-Gorraiz, 149.5 km) and placed ninth behind winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step).
The 20-year-old Slovenian threw himself into the fray of the sprint disputed by some 40 riders on the final climb. The climb covered 800 meters at 5.6% average gradient, with the final 300 meters particularly challenging to weaken the legs of the contenders. Pogačar figured well among the stars.
UAE Team Emirates’ Daniel Martin climbed the overall standings to ninth place at 35 seconds from leader Maximilian Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe).
“Today’s stage was not very long, but was demanding from the start, given the climbs that characterised the first part of the race,” explained Pogačar (photo Bettini) “Despite the difficult start, the group entered the final part of the course at a very sustained pace. The final circuit was insidious from a competitive point of view, with many corners and rises, but I felt at ease and, counting on good legs, I tried to get a good result“.
In stage three tomorrow, the riders will ride from Sarriguren to Estibaliz, covering 191.4 kilometres. The stage is punctuated by a second category climb, a third category one and the final 1.4 km rise at a 4.2% average.
Stage 2 results
1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quick Step 3h29’37”
2 Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto-Soudal s.t.
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky s.t.
9 Tadej Pogačar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates s.t.
General classification after stage 2
1 Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-hasngrohe 3h46’48”
2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 10″
3 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quick Step 11″
9 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 35″