Diego Rosa wygrywa 5e Kraju Basków po samotnej ucieczce z grupy 25 kolarzy… pic.twitter.com/qjwMbY5309
— Slawomir (@ssr57) April 8, 2016
After 159 kilometres of hard racing over a mountainous penultimate stage of the Tour of the Basque Country on Friday, solo escapee Diego Rosa pulled up a metre before the finish line and got off his bike.
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The Italian then lifted the Specialized machine above his head and completed his mammoth day by stepping over the line in victory.
Rosa had put so much time between himself and the chasers that he had plenty of time to indulge in a leisurely celebration to finish off a memorable victory.
Team Sky’s Sergio Henao was the next rider across the line, some three minutes and 13 seconds behind Rosa, alongside Alberto Contador (Tinkoff).
Rosa had been part of a large 24-rider escape group at the start of the day. However, he decided to go solo with over 100km to go on the Spanish race’s ‘queen’ stage peppered with eight categorised climbs.
Rosa used the day’s appalling weather to his advantage, gaining time on the numerous descents as those in the chasing groups behind exercised caution with other riders around them.
Several riders did fall victim to crashes, including Rosa’s Astana team-mate Fabio Aru. British rider Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) was another of the day’s casualties.
Henao leads the race going into Saturday’s final time trial stage.