Mikkel Honore of Deceuninck-QuickStep won stage five of the Tour of the Basque Country ahead of his teammate Josef Cerny on Friday as contenders for the overall title all finished together. The Deceuninck pair fist-bumped as they cruised to the line after a long break off the Basque coastline.
“I wish Cerny could be with me here on the podium,” Denmark’s Honore said.
“We treated it like a one-day race and the tactic paid off when we got away on the final climb,” he said, after he and his teammate beat the main pack by 28 seconds.
While there were no spectators at either the start or finish lines, there were clusters of passionate fans encouraging the riders on the regular inclines.
A post-lunch start for a relatively flat 160km run from the beachfront in Hondarribia provided the calm before the storm expected on Saturday’s big-gun, mountain-laden final day showdown.
The young American Brandon McNulty of UAE Team Emirates retains the overall leader’s yellow jersey, 23 seconds ahead of Jumbo’s Primoz Roglic. But the steep inclines, including a summit finish Saturday, will see McNulty tested to the limit, with an elbow-to-elbow contest between Roglic and his 2020 Tour de France nemesis Tadej Pogacar expected.
|1||HONORÉ Mikkel Frølich||Deceuninck – Quick Step||3:39:54|
|2||ČERNÝ Josef||Deceuninck – Quick Step||0:00|
|3||BERNARD Julien||Trek – Segafredo||0:17|
|4||IMPEY Daryl||Israel Start-Up Nation||0:28|
|5||CLARKE Simon||Team Qhubeka ASSOS||0:28|
|6||OLDANI Stefano||Lotto Soudal||0:28|
|7||ROGLIČ Primož||Team Jumbo-Visma||0:28|
|8||SIMON Julien||Team Total Direct Energie||0:28|
|9||CORT Magnus||EF Education – Nippo||0:28|
|10||POGAČAR Tadej||UAE-Team Emirates||0:28|
|1||MCNULTY Brandon||UAE-Team Emirates||16:05:43|
|2||ROGLIČ Primož||Team Jumbo-Visma||0:23|
|3||VINGEGAARD Jonas||Team Jumbo-Visma||0:28|
|4||BILBAO Pello||Bahrain – Victorious||0:36|
|5||POGAČAR Tadej||UAE-Team Emirates||0:43|
|6||YATES Adam||INEOS Grenadiers||1:02|
|7||BUCHMANN Emanuel||BORA – hansgrohe||1:07|
|8||VALVERDE Alejandro||Movistar Team||1:13|
|9||IZAGIRRE Ion||Astana – Premier Tech||1:15|
|10||LANDA Mikel||Bahrain – Victorious||1:23|
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini