Alaphilippe moves into Pais Vasco green jersey
Second in the overall classification after four stages, the 25-year-old is in control of the points standings.
For the first time since 1974, the Vuelta al Pais Vasco individual time trial featured before the final day and this wasn't the only unusual thing for the stage against the clock, which took place over a flat 19.4km course instead of the classic hilly one, perfect for specialists and less suited to the climbers. Starting and finishing in the small town of Lodosa, the ITT saw the riders roll down the ramp in reverse order of the general classification, with Julian Alaphilippe the last man to leave the start house.
Victorious on the first two stages, which finished in Zarautz and Bermeo, Quick-Step Floors' French rider was aware he didn't have a chance of retaining the yellow jersey, as the course wasn't suited to him, but that didn't stop Julian from putting in a strong ride in Lodosa, which netted him eighth place on the stage won by Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo).
"These long straight roads with strong headwind didn't suit me. I like more a time trial which contains several short, steep climbs, like the one we had earlier this year in Paris-Nice, during which you could change the tempo. I'm not surprised that I lost the lead, because I knew it would be difficult, but I won't hide the fact I'm a bit disappointed for not having the yellow jersey anymore. But the morale in the team is high, so we'll try to do something nice in the next two stages, which will be very hard, the hardest of the race", Julian explained after the stage.
With two days to go at the 58th Vuelta al Pais Vasco, Alaphilippe is second in the GC, just half a minute adrift, and has the green jersey, which rewards the most consistent rider in the points rankings. This isn't the only distinctive jersey in the Quick-Step Floors team, with Spaniard Enric Mas topping the youth classification for the fourth consecutive day.
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