Itzulia Basque Country (st. 2)
Arcas and Verona’s control work, protective tasks by Movistar Team riders for Alejandro don’t found a prize at the finish after Aranburu’s (APT) wisely-timed attack; tough mountain finish in Santa Lucía on Wednesday.
Alex Aranburu (APT) took a solo victory at Sestao’s tough uphill finish, end of stage two in the 2021 Itzulia Basque Country, after leaving all favourites behind into the downhill of the final climb, La Asturiana (Cat-2), crowning his team’s job with a 15″ margin as team-mate Omar Fraile won the pursuit group’s sprint. That G2 contained Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), 10th over the line and sadly unable to pay back their team-mates this time for their help.
Jorge Arcas spent a long chunk of the stage at the front of the bunch to bring back the initial, seven-man breakaway, and keep well positioned, together with Samitier and Carretero, their team-mates in the approach to the last few climbs. After Carlos Verona also took some decent turns at the front at La Asturiana (Cat-2), the attacks between the GC contenders left barely 20 riders in the lead, with Valverde always well placed while Enric Mas briefly made part of the group -finished at 1’01”-.
Alejandro remains just off the overall top-ten, 43″ behind yellow jersey Primoz Roglic (TJV) and 1″ off that first sheet, before the Itzulia’s first big mountain finish. Wednesday’s stage three will see the riders take on Santa Lucía / Ermualde, in Llodio, a brutal, 3km, 11% avg. ascent, preceded by the ‘alto’ of Malkuartu (Cat-2).
Cover picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport
- 01 Primoz Roglic Jumbo - Visma 19h11'36"
- 02 Jonas Vingegaard Jumbo - Visma +52"
- 03 Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates +1'07"
- 07 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team +1'33"
- 18 Enric Mas Movistar Team +8'04"
- 58 Carlos Verona Movistar Team +37'33"
- 72 Sergio Samitier Movistar Team +43'48"
- 86 Einer Rubio Movistar Team +50'27"
- 96 Jorge Arcas Movistar Team +1h00'59"