Igor Anton thrilled the home crowd with a solid victory on stage 19 of the Tour of Spain on Friday.
The day’s ride took the Vuelta back to the Basque country for the first time since violent demonstrations overshadowed its last visit 33 years ago.
Anton and his Euskaltel-Euskadi team-mate Gorka Verdugo were part of a four-man breakaway group that animated the day’s action.
While Britain’s Chris Froome attempted in vein an attack on overall race leader Juan Jose Cobo, out in front Anton successfully attacked his breakaway group.
The Basque native sent the crowd into wild celebrations when he crossed the line for victory in Bilbao marking an historic day for the heartland of Spanish cycling.
41 seconds behind the Euskaltel rider was Italian Marzio Bruseghin of the Movistar Team while Germany’s Dominik Nerz rounded off the podium for Liquigas.
Froome’s attempt to close the gap on Cobo eventually failed and the Team Sky Rider remains 13 seconds behind the Spaniard with two stages left