Deceuninck-QuickStep rider Julian Alaphilippe has expressed his happiness at claiming victory in Stage 2 of the Tour of the Basque Country.
The victory in Gorraiz moved Alaphilippe up to second overall, five seconds behind race leader and winner of the first stage Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe).
"The finish suited me, and I was well-positioned going into the closing kilometre," Alaphilippe said on the Deceuninck-QuickStep website.
"With 200 metres left, I saw an opening and kicked out, and that proved to be the right moment. I'm really glad that I could take the victory.
“My goal at the start of this week was to take a stage win, and now that I have done that, I'll just take it day-by-day and see how things go, especially as the general classification isn't an objective.”
Alaphilippe added, "I didn't know how things would go after the break I took following my Milano-San Remo victory but the legs felt good and I was very motivated to get the win.
"The day was a very fast and nervous one, despite being short, due to the presence of those unpaved segments.
“But we managed the situation perfectly, and I could rely on a strong squad, which kept me near the front at all times, so a big thank you goes to them for their valuable help."
The Tour of the Basque Country continues on Wednesday with Stage 3 between Sarriguren and Estibaliz. You can see live coverage on Fox Sports 2 from 16h30 CAT.