Emanuel Buchmann continued Bora-Hansgrohe‘s string of success with a brilliant solo victory during stage 5 at the Tour of the Basque Country on Friday. The German rider attacked on the penultimate ascent and held his gap up the slopes of Usartza before descending into the city of Arrate to take the win by a minute over the chase: runner-up Jon Izagirre (Astana), third-placed Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and fourth-placed Jakob Fuglsang (Astana).
Buchmann’s dominant performance meant that he took the overall race lead from teammate Max Schachmann, who was distanced on the final climb. Buchmann now leads the race by 54 seconds over Ion Izagirre, while Schachmann, who won three stages, dropped to third place at 1:04 back.
“It’s incredible. It’s already the fourth stage win for us, and on the queen stage, and now with the leader’s jersey, it’s really cool,” Buchmann said in a post-race flash interview.
“We will try everything tomorrow to defend the jersey. We have a really strong team here – maybe the strongest team in the race. Tomorrow will be another really hard day; everyone else will try and win this race so that it won’t be easy. But we have a strong team, and I’m optimistic.”
The final climb of the Usartza was five kilometres with 12 per cent pitches half way up followed by lesser 8 per cent and 6 per cent grades all the way to the top before descending into Arrate.
Buchmann made his winning move on penultimate ascent Trabakua, and built his lead out to an almost impossible two minutes as he reached the base of the Usartza.
How it unfolded
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