Astana rider Luis Leon Sanchez pips fellow breakaway companion Daniel Navarro to win stage one of Tour of the Basque Country

Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) won the opening stage of the 2016 Tour of the Basque Country in Spain on Monday.

Sanchez had attacked with fellow Spaniard Daniel Navarro (Cofidis) on the final climb of the day. The pair built up a lead over the chasing pack on the descent and just about managed to evade them on the line.

It’s Sanchez’s second victory of the year after he won a stage of the Volta ao Algarve in February.

Had he been given an extra 10 metres, Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) would have taken the victory as he rapidly accelerated behind the lead duo. In the end, though, the Australian had to settle for third place.

>>> Tour of the Basque Country preview

The hilly stage featured eight classified climbs over its 144km route, which saw the peloton splinter into pieces and create large time gaps on the first day. The remnants of an early escape group were caught when Dario Cataldo (Astana) attacked with 30km to go.

The peloton on stage one of the 2016 Tour of The Basque Country

The peloton on stage one of the 2016 Tour of The Basque Country

Cataldo was subsequently reeled in, setting the scene for his team-mate Sanchez to take the victory and early race lead.

The 2016 Tour of the Basque Country (Vuelta al Pais Vasco) continues on Wednesday with a 174.3km stage featuring a climb to the finish line in Baranbio-Garrastatxu to favour the likes of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), defending champion Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and British brothers Simon and Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge). The UCI WorldTour-level race concludes on Saturday, April 9.


Watch: 2016 WorldTour contenders


Tour of the Basque Country Results

Stage one: Etxebarria to Markina-Xemein, 144km
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana in 3-54-21
2. Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis
3. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5. Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale
6. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Ag2r
7. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx-QuickStep
8. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin
9. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal
10. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha all same time

Luis Leon Sanchez wins stage one of the 2016 Tour of The Basque Country

Luis Leon Sanchez wins stage one of the 2016 Tour of The Basque Country

General classification after stage one
1. Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana
2. Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis
3. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
4. Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
5. Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale
6. Jan Bakelants (Bel) Ag2r
7. Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx-QuickStep
8. Warren Barguil (Fra) Giant-Alpecin
9. Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Soudal
10. Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha all same time

  • llos25

    And what a win.