Itzulia Basque Country, Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco. Call it what you will but this one week stage race is one of the toughest routes on the professional circuit. Often wet, always dripping with stinging climbs and featuring the best fans. Lets see what stage 1 had in store.
Itzulia Basque Country Stage 1: Zarautz to Zarautz, 162.1km
Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Julian Alaphilippe attacked on the final goat-track of a climb, dropped their companion Nairo Quintano and crested the summit of the Eikano Gaina together before hurling themselves down the sinuous descent to the finish at break-neck speed. 7km later and the Quick-Stepping Wolfpack secured their 22nd victory of 2018 as Alaphilippe just pipped Roglic on the line. Astana’s Pello Bilbao led the chase group home for third.
Video, we pick it up just before the swoop to the finish with 7.5km to go.
Quicksteppin’ all the way and now with somewhat of a piratical beard #OLE
When LouLou wins, I hear howl-ing…
Everyone loves the Basque fans…
Movistar duo Quintana and Mikel Landa arrived with the chase group at +33secs – that’s a little dramatic arc to follow for the whole race.
However, not all the climbers had their climbing legs on and there were some big time gaps. Bahrain Merida’s Ion Izaguire is a minute down and…
Kwiatkowski should be forgiven for still having his Tour of Flanders legs with him.
You know what they say, where there are time gaps there are attacks… AUPA!
Full race report at Cycling News
Header image: Julian Alaphilippe and Primoz Roglic through the fans – Pool GS by David Ramos/Getty Images