Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco: Velits 2nd in Select Group Formed Near Descent to the Finish
In the 157km Stage 1 of Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, A two rider break was dwindled to one as the riders approached the sixth and final climb of the day: Category 2 Alto de San Miguel. Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team was near the front, ready to put their GC leaders Tony Martin and Peter Velits into good position for a good result.
During the climb chaos began to ensue as all the top GC contenders wanted to put pressure on each other when the peloton reached the summit.
Chaos was indeed the result. While many riders took risks to split the peloton on the twisty and fast descent, others were unable to maintain contact. One of the riders able to contend the finish was Velits. As a select group including Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff), Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team), Richie Porte (Team Sky ProCycling) and others scrambled to the finish, Velits and Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) gained an advantage of several bike lengths and they battled each other in a tough two-up sprint.
Gerrans won, but Velits accomplished the goal of maintaining his GC placement, while also getting a 2nd place finish in the stage.