"We wanted to win the stage - said Gatis Smukulis on the finish line Bilbao - we tried to make the selection, but the climb was not steep and long enough”.
"Luis Leon Sanchez is really strong and focused - he continued - and the team will do everything to help him win."
"We pulled a long time to resume the escape - said sport director Alexandr Shefer - but we have to settle for fifth place of Luis. The race is still long and we will try again”.
The stage was won by Belgian Jens Keukeleire; no change in the overall rankings always guided by the Colombian Nairo Quintana with Michele Scarponi in eighth place.
Tomorrow thirteenth stage in the Basque Country, from Bilbao to Urdax-Dantxarinea of 213 km, with a brief crossing into France and four third category climbs.