Pais Vasco: Opening stage win propels Alaphilippe into GC contention

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) attacks the climb

With stage 1 victory at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco , Julian Alaphilippe is well placed for overall victory in the Basque Country. The Frenchman on QuickStep-Floors took the two-up sprint win in Zarautz ahead of Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) and the remnants of the peloton at 23 seconds. Alaphilippe now holds a four-second lead over Roglic with Pello Bilbao (Astana) at 29 seconds and the majority of pre-race favourites a further four seconds in arrears. The win is Alaphilippe's first on European soil since his Vuelta a Espana victory last year and the 22nd of 2018 for QuickStep-Floors. "I am very happy, especially as I got sick after Milano-Sanremo and had to rest before returning to training. I was very motivated after this small setback, so I worked hard to be back at my best," said Alaphilippe. "The plan was to take a stage here and even though we did ...

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