A tough day for Team Sunweb on the queens stage, with a multitude of challenging climbs infusing the action within the peloton. Warren Barguil finished 18th on the stage whilst Michael Matthews retains his lead in the points classification.
Laurens Ten Dam represented the team in the 18 rider break of the queens stage of Pais Vasco. As an attack came from within the break, Laurens followed with one other rider. After shaking off his breakaway companion he bridged across to the leader but was soon reeled back in by the chasing bunch as they reached the Trabakua. The race remained bunched until the final climb of the day where the days fireworks were lit. The short 4km climb to Arrate tore the bunch to pieces with its steep gradients going well into double figures. The challenging ascent made the days final selection and Team Sunweb were caught behind the first group with Warren going on to take 18th on the stage. Michael also retains the points jersey through to stage 6.
“I was happy to be up the road today,” said Laurens after the stage. “I expected to have a free leash after the first time up Eibar when myself and Fraile dropped all of the guys who were close in the GC but Orica started to make some serious pace and I knew my day was over. I feel that I am finally back on track after my injury in 2015. The last two WorldTour races have given me the confidence that I can be in mix of action again and I am looking forward to the teams big goals later in the season.”
Team Sunweb coach Morten Bennekou said “It was a really hard stage today with tough parcours, in particular the final climb was really steep and challenging. Warren didn’t feel 100 percent making it a really tough day for him and he wanted to take a little more from the stage. It’s good to focus on the future so we keep our spirits up for the remainder of the Pais Vasco, and upcoming races with Warren.”