The 52nd edition of the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco (in Basque, Euskal Herriko txirrindulari itzulia), a six-day WorldTour stage race, will be held this year from Monday 2nd to Saturday 7th April. It clashes with the Belgian cobbled Classics giving cobble-shy climbers a safe haven. The 2012 route was only officially announced in early March after the event had been rescued by a local bank from possible cancellation due to lack of funding. The event is organised by the leading Basque newspaper Diario Vasco.
The race was first run in 1924, and won by Frenchman Francis Pelissier, before undergoing numerous iterations and cancellations. It features on the palmares of riders such as Gino Bartali, Jacques Anquetil, Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and Laurent Jalabert. Continue reading