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Sport

Roglic battles back from fall at Tour of Basque Country

todayApril 4, 2024 4

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Quinten Hermans won stage three of the Tour of the Basque Country on Wednesday as falls took down three of the overall pretenders to the title on a mountainous 190km run.

Overnight leader Primoz Roglic, riding in new colours at Bora, was the first major faller but the Slovenian battled back from two minutes down.

Roglic rejoined the peloton on the final climb to save his yellow jersey and leads Remco Evenepoel by 7sec with Mattias Skjelmore in third at 10sec.

Juan Ayuso is another 4sec back after a second crash took out the promising Spaniard and his countryman Carlos Rodriguez, with both men trailing home.

The crash came 1.5km from the finish line, meaning they lost no time.

Ayuso and Roglic were both given medical reports of superficial grazes and bruising, although any fall can potentially drain valuable energy as the stages rack up.

Almost none of the top sprinters are on this hilly six-day race, and Hermans was the second sprinter to win in two days after French rider Paul Lapeira won stage two.

For both men, this was a first World Tour level win.

Wednesday’s constantly undulating run from Ezpeleta to Altsasu also produced a new King of the Mountains with South African climber Louis Meintjes crossing first over the first and last climbs of the day.

Defending champion Jonas Vingegaard is the form rider on a start list that includes all the top contenders for the Tour de France except Tadej Pogacar.

French climber David Gaudu was a non-starter Wednesday due to a hand injury incurred in a high-speed fall 4km from the end of stage two.

Briton Tom Pidcock of Ineos pulled out before Monday’s time trial after crashing during a recon run.

bur/dmc/mw/jc

AFP

(NAMPA / AFP)

Written by: Staff Writer

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