• Jay McCarthy (L) takes the mass sprint on Stage 3 of the Itzulia Basque Country Tour. (AAP)Source: AAP
Australian Jay McCarthy (BORA-hansgrohe) won Wednesday's third stage of the Itzulia Basque Country in a sprint finish, as Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) retained the race leader's yellow jersey.
By
Cycling Central

5 Apr 2018 - 7:53 AM  UPDATED 5 Apr 2018 - 9:55 AM

“The team did a stellar job today and worked the whole day really hard to support our GC leaders and help me in the finale if it all came back together," McCarthy said.

After 15km of racing, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) and Christopher Juul-Jensen (Mitchelton-Scott) led the race before another six-rider group, which included Australian Brendan Canty (EF Education First-Drapac), bridged across to help build an advantage of more than six minutes after 55km of racing.

The break sustained its effort until it was shut down with three kilometres remaining with a bunch sprint looming before McCarthy capitalised on the lead-out from BORA-hansgrohe.

"Felix [Grossschartner] and Cece [Cesare Benedetti ] rode super strong to control the race in the last 30km, then Gregor [Mühlberger] came in the last five kilometres to the front and did a great lead-out for me.

"I started the sprint early and gave it all. I am really happy with this victory and want to thank my teammates for their support.”

Alaphilippe, winner of the first two stages, remains eight seconds clear of Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) on the general classification with Stage 4 a flat 19.4km individual time trial around Lodosa next up for the peloton.

Alaphilippe does it again at Basque Country Tour
Julian Alaphilippe engineered another stage win at the Itzulia Basque Country with Primoz Roglic a repeat second.
Alaphilippe wins first stage of Basque Country
Julian Alaphilippe claimed the opening stage of the Itzulia Basque Country after edging out Primoz Roglic in a sprint finish.
Slow and steady for Porte's return to racing
Out since mid-February, Richie Porte returns to racing at next week's Vuelta al Pais Vasco.