We love cycling in the Basque country. The racing is as passionate as the fans and always has a lot, and we mean a LOT, of steep ascents. Get your climbing legs ready for Pais Vasco.
Stage 1, Etxebarria to Markina-Xemein, 144km
With eight climbs on the menu, the last within 10km of the finish, this stage was tailor made for those who enjoy the Ardennes. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) and Dani Navarro (Cofidis) went clear on the last climb of the day. With the pack breathing down their necks on the descent (marvel at Sanchez here), the pair hurtled to the line where the Astana man just pipped Navarro for the victory. Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEDGE) took the sprint in the peloton to claim third place on the podium.
The perfect moment in a txapela
Links: Official site for Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, Twitter #itzulia
If you’re not sure why the hashtag is #itzulia – take a look at Sheree’s brilliant A-Z of Basque cycling. Part 1 and Part 2. It fhas everything you need to know.
Featured Image: What a finish!