The Vuelta al Pais Vasco, also known as the Tour of the Basque Country, gets underway today and Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka are looking forward to this tough 6-stage World Tour race.
As a race that has traditionally suited the climbers, this year’s edition of the Tour of the Basque country will once again include numerous climbs each day but this year the race will end with a 27km individual time trial on Saturday 8th of April. The addition of the race against the clock will ensure the race is suited to more of an outright GC rider as opposed to spcialised climbers like in the past. Stage 5 will see the only summit finish of this year’s race so we can expect the real GC shake up to happen over these last two stages.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will start the Basque Country Tour with our two local Basque riders, Omar Fraile and Igor Anton eager to impress on their home roads. Our African Team is then littered with climbing talent as Merhawi Kudus, Lachlan Morton and Serge Pauwels also take on the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. Completing our African Team is Adrien Niyonshuti, Ben King and Steve Cummings.
Last year Cummings won stage 3 of the race with a crafty late attack. Our British star will once again be on the lookout for a stage opportunity while the final stage time trial could also suit his abilities. Our host of climbers though will focus on being in contention daily, as a stage win will be the primary objective this week.
Bingen Fernandez – Sport Director
This year the Tour of the Basque Country starts with a few less aggressive stages than in the past but that does not mean they will be easy. The addition of the time trial as the last stage means some GC riders who are not as good in the time trial will take every stage as an opportunity to gain time. As it is every year, the Tour of the Basque country is going to be an exciting race and we have an equally exciting team who have all the tools to stand on the podium.