Eltziego, Spain, April 4, 2017 (AFP) – Swiss rider Michael Albasini edged a sprint finish to claim victory on the second stage of the Tour of the Basque Country on Tuesday. Albasini beat Argentine Ariel Maximiliano Richeze and Belgium’s Sean de Bie into second and third respectively in a time of 4hrs 35mins 22secs for the 173.4km from Pamplona to Eltziego. Australian Michael Matthews was fourth and maintains the overall lead after winning Monday’s opening stage.
Pre-race favourites Alejandro Valverde and Alberto Contador remain on the same time as Matthews, although Contador had another eventful day as he overcame a puncture after crashing inside the final kilometre on Monday.
Wednesday’s third stage gives the climbers a first chance to separate themselves from the pack with six climbs on the 160.5km ride from Vitoria to San Sebastian.