Conclusions from País Vasco

By David Hunter

King Contador is Back

He changed his race schedule after a disappointing 2013 and boy has it worked. 1st in Tirreno, 2nd in Catalunya and 1st here. Not only that but his TT performance is back to what it used to be. Alberto now goes into hiding and won’t race again until the Dauphine on the 8th June.contadoritz

Michal Kwiatkowski – He won in Algarve, but blew spectacularly in Tirreno. We weren’t sure what to expect from the Pole, but he delivered here. He still isn’t ready for the proper mountains but he’s getting there. Should have a good couple of weeks in the Ardennes.

JC Peraud – As steady as ever from the Frenchman. After winning the Criterium he followed that up with a solid 3rd place here. He looks well set for a good year and a top 10 at the Tour.

Simon Spilak – An excellent TT performance, pushed him up to 4th. A very interesting option for Katusha in the Tour, still just 27 years old, he should be hitting his prime soon.

Alejandro Valverde – The only rider capable of matching Alberto Contador, but not on the very steep slopes of stage 1. He made some poor tactical decisions on stages 4 and 5 and this cost him an overall podium spot. Looks in great form for the Ardennes.

Wout Poels – Back to his best! Was able to follow Contador and Valverde on stage 4 and 5. He’ll be a great help for Uran at the Giro.

Simon Yates – A very promising 12th overall. A star of the future.

Tony Martin – Back on top form. A brilliant breakaway on stage 2 and a strong TT. A very good week for the German powerhouse.

Michael Matthews – A top sprint on stage 3 to claim victory for Orica in Vitoria for the 3rd year running. How will he cope in the Tour against the big boys?

Disappointing performances by Van Garderen, Evans, Landa, Kiserlovski, Nieve, Rolland and Mollema. Evans seems a long way off the form required to challenge at the Giro.

David Hunter

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