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Philippe Gilbert (right) spoke with Jan Bakelants before the start of the stage that would see both riders eventually on the attack. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)
Philippe Gilbert (right) spoke with Jan Bakelants before the start of the stage that would see both riders eventually on the attack. (©BMC/Graham Watson.)

Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Stage 2: Evans Into Top Five

8. April 2014

Cadel Evans was one of the five BMC Racing Team riders to finish in the peloton Tuesday – 30 seconds after solo winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) – and moved up three places to fifth overall at Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

The Course:
The 155.8-kilometer race from Ordizia to Dantxarinea was punctuated by four categorized climbs - but none in the final 50 km.

The Day's Breakaway:
Martin and teammate Jan Bakelants were two of seven riders who slipped the peloton in the first 25 km. Over the next two hours, the breakaway never led by more than three minutes. Entering the final 20 km, Martin, Bakelants and Gorka Izaguirre (Movistar Team) went on an escape of their own.

The Winning Move:
Bakelants put in an attack with 12 km to go that Izaguirre followed. But Martin counter-attacked and Izaguirre could not catch the three-time world time trial champion. Ben Swift (Team Sky) finished second and Martin's teammate, Michal Kwiatkowski, was third.

BMC Racing Team Riders In The Peloton:
Samuel Sánchez was 17th, Philippe Gilbert was 19th, Evans was 20th, Peter Velits was 23rd and Tejay van Garderen was 26th.

In The Overall Standings:
Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) kept the overall lead, 14 seconds ahead of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team). Kwiatkowski is third at 34 seconds while Evans is one of five riders 36 seconds off the lead.

What Gilbert Said:
"We know when Martin goes, it is like a time trial. He is the world champion so he is very hard to catch. Amaël Moinard was pulling, along with some guys from GreenEDGE and Sky. But it was not possible to go faster. I was hoping Tony would lose time on the last climb. But when I saw Valverde try to attack, I thought it was good for us. But it wasn't organized. Then I was one of the only ones up there without any ambition on the general classification. I was thinking maybe if I could attack, they wouldn't look at me and I could go for second place. But I forgot it was still up and down. I was thinking it was a decent straightaway. Then the bunch came back on me with two-and-a-half (kilometers) to go.

What Sport Director Valerio Piva Said:
"The final was normally, on paper, one for a sprinter. Everyone was expecting Orica and Sky. They helped Tinkoff-Saxo in the final and we also put one guy in the chase because we were thinking it would be a chance for Philippe to try something. But Martin was very strong. Behind, our leader finished in the front group. It was hard today, but tomorrow is also hard. We will try again."

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

View photos from the race in the BMC Racing Team's Flickr gallery.