The fifth stage of Itzulia Basque Country would see the rider’s face the Queen stage with a now traditional finish at Arrate. Although not a summit-finish as such, the last steep climb of the day crested with only a kilometre to go so the ascent would prove decisive in the outcome of the stage.
From the flag drop the pace was high as several teams tried to form the break of the day. Team Sunweb were ever present at the front of the race and involved in several of the ultimately fruitless attacks. The break eventually formed over the third climb of the day after almost 60 kilometres of racing. However, with the GC all to play for, the race continued to explode up front and the Team Sunweb rider’s paid for their earlier attacks and couldn’t follow at the head of the race. With the stage decided by the GC riders, Team Sunweb rolled home in the grupetto, with Chris Hamilton the first back for the team in 40th place.
The final stage tomorrow sees the rider’s take on a demanding day of climbing from Eibar to Eibar, and it is one that could potentially be a day for the break but it could well turn into another GC showdown.