Ventoso was part of a 19-man group that pulled away after countless attempts in the first 100 kilometers which saw nobody able to open a bigger gap. CCC Team was one of the most active teams at the front of the peloton at the start, with everyone trying to make a move, including Patrick Bevin who broke clear with another rider and gained ten seconds on the chasers before being caught after 12 kilometers of racing.
Ventoso’s group was working well together with the Spaniard taking strong turns at the front and that collective effort turned into an almost six-minute advantage at the bottom of Alto de Urruztimendi, the second category three climb of the day.
This is where the breakaway began to split and the increase in pace caused Ventoso to fall behind and, while he was trying to close the gap, he eventually had to let go and finish the stage at his own pace. Ventoso arrived at the line a few minutes behind the stage winner, Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck – Quick Step) and was the top finisher of CCC Team.
Quotes from the Finish Line:
“We started really fast and we fought hard to make it into the breakaway. The team worked very well and everyone was pushing and trying to make a move. The attacks kept flying in the first 100 kilometers and finally, on the downhill a strong group, which included some really good riders, broke clear. I was able to join them but, in the final, I couldn’t follow the attacks on a steep climb. I’m not at my best in such terrain but, I tried, I gave my best and for sure we will continue to fight on the next stages.”
Stage 12: Circuito de Navarra > Bilbao (171.4km)
Top 3: 1. Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 2. Alex Aranburu (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) 3. Fernando Barceló (Euskadi Basque Country – Murias)
CCC Team Top 3: 48. Francisco Ventoso 85. Will Barta 105. Patrick Bevin