ATTACHED TO HIS ROOTS. Alex Aranburu has spent his entire life in Ezkio, a small village in the Gipuzkoa mountains of the Basque Country, always with a very active lifestyle. A brother of Mikel, a rally co-driver, he took up all kinds of sports since he was a little child (soccer, basketball, pelota). He got on a bike at age 8, first as mere amusement, then -through cyclo-cross- as a competitive discipline. He combined the mud with the road -he even became Spanish junior road race champion- before taking the step towards amateur racing, first with AMPO and then with Baqué, showing abilities that earned him an early jump towards the pro peloton, as a trainee, with Murias in late 2015. Except for the last two years, he always made part of home squads from northern Spain.
A SIGNIFICANT STEP EVERY YEAR. In 2016, his debut pro season, he shone in the Tour de l’Avenir, doing well against the top climbers over the legendary Croix-de-Fer (Bernal, Gaudu, Geoghegan Hart, Storer); in 2017, when he joined the Caja Rural squad, he showed himself strong in the Spanish calendar -racing his first Itzulia- and coming close to a maiden win in Rhône-Alpes; in 2018, despite a pre-season injury, he opened his victory account with a strong sprint in Getxo, then went on to 3rd place atop the Castillo de Burgos and completed his first La Vuelta; and in 2019, he doubled his win tally -one stage in Burgos, another one in Madrid- and came twice 2nd at La Vuelta stages. His place in the WorldTour was more than earned by this point.
WORLD TALENT. In the ranks of the Astana Pro Team, and despite the pandemic (which affected us all) in 2020, he soon proved his spot in the sport’s top tier was truly deserved: 7th in his first Milano-Sanremo, 2nd -to team-mate and youth reference Gorka Izagirre- in Varese, then a couple more close calls in La Vuelta. 2021 would become the perfect description of his abilities: more than a decent climber, as well as a good sprint -2nd and 3rd in Dauphiné finishes; 5th in La Vuelta’s opening bunch sprint- and an explosive rouler -6th in Het Nieuwsblad; 2nd (!!) in La Vuelta’s prologue, to Primoz Roglic-, as well as a great classics rider -7th in Sanremo, close to the top-ten in Amstel and Flèche- and one with an excellent strategic nose -brilliant stage win in the Itzulia-. Is there anything this good man cannot do!?