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Cadel Evans (right, in red) arrived in a small group 36 seconds after the stage winner. (Photo by Andrea Agostini, BMC Racing Team.)
Cadel Evans (right, in red) arrived in a small group 36 seconds after the stage winner. (Photo by Andrea Agostini, BMC Racing Team.)

Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Stage 1: Evans Eighth

7. April 2014

BMC Racing Team's Cadel Evans finished eighth on Monday's opening stage of Vuelta al Pais Vasco as Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) soloed to victory.

The Course:
The up-and-down profile of the 153.4-kilometer course that started and finished in Ordizia featured eight categorized climbs, the last coming less than 10 km from the uphill finish.

The Day's Breakaway:
Four riders – Rafael Ferrari (Lampre-Merida), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R La Mondiale), Romain Sicard (Team Europcar) and Davide Villella (Cannondale Pro Cycling Team) – broke away in the first 10 km and built a lead of nearly five minutes. The chasing efforts of the Movistar Team and Tinkoff-Saxo swept them up with 25 km to go.

The Winning Move:
After the BMC Racing Team brought back a brief escape by Tom Dumoulin (Team Giant-Shimano), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) attacked and only Contador could follow. But with seven kilometers left, Contador put in a dig of his own and soloed over the top of the final climb with a 14-second lead over Valverde, which he held to the finish. Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) finished third, 34 seconds later, followed by five-rider group containing Evans at 36 seconds.

In The Top 20:
Two others from from the BMC Racing Team also finished in the top 20: Samuel Sánchez was 15th and Tejay van Garderen 18th. Both arrived in a group 58 seconds after Contador.

What Evans Said:
"For an opening stage of a stage race, it was a very selective and difficult stage on a difficult course. Solid racing all day with really, short, steep climbs that are typical of Pays Basque. For an opening stage, it was not quite what we were used to having – such an important, selective stage to open with. I am reasonably happy with how I was. I was close when the real attacks went from Valverde and Contador. But they were really in a class of their own here anyways. That didn't really change much for me."

What Sport Director Valerio Piva Said:
"It was a very hard first stage. I am happy with the team. Everybody did a good job. We started with two protected leaders, Tejay and Cadel, so the team was in support of these guys. I saw that we always had good position for them. Cadel was in good position when Valverde and Contador attacked, but he told me he was not strong enough to follow. But he arrived 15 seconds behind Valverde and 36 behind Contador, so the tour is still open. We are only on the first day so we cannot forget there is a time trial at the end."

See pictures from the race in the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.

Listen to complete comments on the BMC Racing Team Audio Line.