The Clássica da Arrábida marked the team’s first race in Portugal since the Volta a Portugal in October of 2020. The 181km contest set off from Setúbal early Sunday morning before finishing in nearby Palmela. After an early breakaway escaped on the flat roads they were quickly reeled in before two successive gravel climbs which saw numerous attacks blow the peloton apart. Stephen Bassett emerged as the team’s top rider, sprinting to sixth overall and second from the bunch that was unable to reel in four late escapees.
“I feel really good about this result and it’s nice to see both teamwork and personal development play out in a race like this,” said Bassett. “Kyle Murphy did a picture-perfect leadout and took me into the last turn at 300 meters to go with a small gap. From there I mustered up what I had left and drove it to the line.”
The team’s plan was to go on the offensive during the race’s most difficult moments which came one after the other in the final 30km.
“When the main break was caught, we did a great job getting Emerson and Matteo into the inevitable counter moves,” added Bassett. “It kept the pressure on the other teams and let the rest of us stay calm.”
Earlier this season, Bassett took part in four challenging one-day races across Belgium and France. The experience rubbed off as he was able to capitalize on it on Sunday.
“The positioning experience I gained this spring allowed me to build myself small buffers by getting to the front of the pack before the climbs, which was crucial to staying in the mix on a lumpy course,” recalled Bassett. “I started the last climb at the front of our group and sagged my way to the very back by the time we reached the top.”
1 QUINN Sean Hagens Berman Axeon 4:20:49
2 LASTRA Jonathan Caja Rural – Seguros RGA 0:11
3 MERTZ Rémy Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB 0:13
4 ANTUNES Tiago Tavfer-Measindot-Mortágua ”
5 MORENO Javier Efapel 0:16
6 BASSETT Stephen Rally Cycling ”
7 GARCÍA DE MATEOS Vicente Antarte – Feirense ”
8 MORENO Ivan Equipo Kern Pharma ”
9 GOMES Luis Kelly / Simoldes / UDO ”
10 FIGUEIREDO Frederico Efapel ”