Martinez wins in the Basque Country

07 Apr 2022

Martinez wins in the Basque Country

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Dani Martinez sprinted to a fine first road win of the season in the Basque Country, going all in to win on the line, inches ahead of world champion Julian Alaphilippe.

The Colombian went with 200m to go on the final uphill rise into Zamudio and none of Alaphilippe, Diego Ulissi or Primoz Roglic could get back on level terms. Alaphilippe came the closest, but Martinez held on by half a wheel.

It was a fine display of power from the 25 year old, who is enjoying a strong season. After winning the Colombian national time trial championships, he finished third overall at Volta ao Algarve and Paris-Nice. He now sits third overall here, with two very tough days to come.

The team was able to let others do the work on an up and down day, with Geraint Thomas continuing his impressive week by infiltrating the early break. The Welshman was only brought back by the bunch after the final climb, and he immediately went to work for Martinez and fellow team leader Yates.

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl led out the sprint for Alaphilippe but as leadout man Remco Evenepoel peeled off and the world champion stalled, Dani took his chance and went. He wouldn't be caught.

Dani Martinez

There was a lot of strong riders in the group today. I had great legs. I knew the finish had a little bit of a drag and with 200m to go I felt a stall and I thought: ‘Just go.’

"We had G in the front all day which helped us and obviously I tried to attack on the last climb. But because the group was still there and so big behind, I saved a little bit for the sprint.

"We have been showing that whole team is a strong group. There are still very difficult days to come and with Adam and myself, we are in a great position."