Swiss Michael Albasini continued Team Columbia’s impressive start to the cycling season with victory in stage four of the Tour of the Basque Country on Thursday.
Columbia have already taken a host of big races this season, including Edvald Boasson Hagen’s win at Ghent-Wevelgem and Mark Cavendish’s numerous sprint victories, including in the Milan-San Remo classic. And that run continued when Albasini beat three rivals in a sprint finish at the end of the 161km ride from Eibar to Guenes. Belgium’s Jurgen van den Broeck took second ahead of American Christian Van de velde. Spain’s Alberto Contador, who rode away from his rivals to win Wednesday’s mountainous stage, retained his overall lead after finishing with all the race leaders.
Contador takes Basque lead
The defending Giro d’Italia and Vuelta Espana winner is eight seconds clear of compatriots Samuel Sanchez and Antonio Colom, and Australian Cadel Evans, in the overall standings. The race continues on Friday with a 169km leg from Guenes to Zalla before wrapping up with Saturday’s individual time-trial.