Simon Gerrans won the first stage of the Tour of the Basque Country after he edged out Peter Velits and Angel Vicioso in a sprint finish.
Australian Gerrans, who won the Milan-San Remo last year, finished the 156.5km (98-mile) mountainous course in 4hr 6min 33sec. Velits and Vicioso finished in the same time. Alberto Contador finished seventh, also with the same time. Riders had to negotiate a grade one climb to the Alto de Azurki peak and three grade two ascents.