BORA-hansgrohe Team (Spain) - Press Release: Today saw the fourth stage of the Tour of the Basque Country, a 163,6 km-long route commencing in Vitoria-Gasteiz. On the menu today were four categorised climbs, including the first category ascent to Bikotz Gane. This was followed by a rapid descent and another climb before a downhill run into the finish town of Arrigorriaga. At the start of the race, the peloton set a relatively high tempo and it took around one hour of racing until a seven-man group was able to distance itself. The peloton never gave the breakaway an advantage of more than four minutes. BORA – hansgrohe was always visible at the head of the main field, with Pawel Poljanski and Cesare Benedetti being particularly active during this period of racing. In the steep ascent to Bikotz Gane the breakaway group then split. At the last intermediate sprint, Patrick Konrad, currently placed third in the general classification, took valuable bonus seconds. Mitchelton-Scott then took over the pace setting in the field, but rain and fog made the chase after the two remaining escapees increasingly difficult, and with 12 km remaining, a duo was still riding at the head of the field. Then, a few kilometres ahead of the finish line, several riders were involved in a crash on the wet roads, however BORA – hansgrohe was able to avoid hitting the deck. A group of four riders, including Max Schachmann, attacked in the last 3 km and raced up the uphill stretch to the finish. In the finishing straight, Max proved himself to the best strongest and crossed the finish line first in sovereign fashion. With this win, he further extended his lead in the general classification, and also defended his points jersey and the youth jersey. His teammate Patrick Konrad is now second in the overall standings, while Emanuel Buchmann was able to defend his sixth place. Thanks to these results, the team also leads the team classification.
01. M. Schachmann: 4:03:55
02. T. Pogacar: +0:01
03. A. Yates: +0:01
06. E. Buchmann: +0:09
07. P. Konrad: +0:09
From the finish line:
“I don’t really know what to say. It’s my third win here and I’ll need some time to process this. The weather conditions were very bad today, even worse than predicted. It was relatively cold and it rained continuously. In the end, I was exhausted, but I was really motivated to win today. I was in a perfect position in the finishing straight, and was able to sprint across the line first. Tomorrow it will be a hard stage, but we will of course do our best to net a good result.” - Max Schachmann.
“We have a group of strong guys here, and it can be hard to decide for whom to ride. The boys delivered a great performance and I give my congratulations to the whole team.” - Jens Zemke, Sports Director.