The Itzulia Basque Country 2019 has officially started. The first stage was an extremely technical I.T.T. with a rainy day as a background. The weather, the choice of the bike and the brakes made the difference in an 11.2 km stage.
The road was very wet but that didn’t stop Enric Mas (DQT) from getting the first good result of the day. The top riders were at the start when the road began to dry off and the results improved. Maximilian Schachmann (BOH), with 17’10” was the best rider of the day and won the stage to become the first GC leader of the Itzulia 2019. Daniel Martínez Póveda (EF) and Michal Kwiatkowski (SKY) followed him on the podium.
The top riders performed well. However, Mikel Landa (MOV) lost 54” and George Bennett (TJV) some more after crashing at the top of La Antigua.
Following a technical and strategical first stage, the second journey will be contested tomorrow on 149.5 km and its feared sterratos.
Schachmann: “I feel good and proud after winning today in front of the top riders of this race. My goal today was to avoid crashes and injuries and I felt pretty comfortable on the bike and on the race. At the top of the climb they told me that I was leading, so I decided to take more risks, not because I wanted to win the stage but to finish with the best possible time. From now on, our goal is to work and take the best possible result back home”.