Intxausti, Quintana and Costa -the latter two now in top-ten overall- avoid any troubles on Itzulia's day two in Victory; José Herrada goes on the attack at the final climb
Italian Francesco Gavazzi (AST) has become the new leader of the 53rd Vuelta al País Vasco after stage two, 170km between Elgoibar and Vitoria with five categorized climbs, marked by intermitent rain and a long solo break by Txurruka (CJR) until the Alto de San Martín, the penultimate in the day’s programme, where he was joined by Voigt (RLT) and Malori (LAM) in a late effort to stay away from the bunch, where Movistar Team kept focus in search for the final climb of Zaldiaran. There, a solo move by Malori was countered by José Herrada, who proved his great fitness level after the work done in Monday’s finale. The Spaniard went away briefly with Malori and Frenchman Romain Bardet (ALM), but the trio was caught with 4k from the finish.
At the sprint, with about 80 riders at the front -five Blues within them, including Costa, Intxausti and a really attentive Quintana (13th)-, South African Daryl Impey (OGE) grabbed the day’s honours – no major changes happened in the GC, with Quintana (5th) and Costa (9th) into the best ten before the three mountain stages that will decide the 2013 Itzulia, combined with Saturday’s ITT in Beasain. The first round will be played on Wednesday: 165km from Vitoria to the Cat. 2 climb Alto de la Lejana, with 7km at an average 5.7% and a terrible, final 400m at 21%. Before that, the race will tackle three Cat. 3 ascents -Zarate, Humaran and Cobarón- and another Cat. 2, La Reineta.