Primoz Roglic retains lead in Basque Country after Alex Aranburu lands stage two

Tuesday April 6 — Zalla to Sestao, 154.8km

Alex Aranburu claimed stage two at Itzulia Basque Country on Tuesday after the Astana-Premier Tech attacked on the sharp uphill approach to the line in Sestao before soloing to a maiden WorldTour win.

Aranburu finished the stage 15 seconds ahead of team-mate Omar Fraile, a result that propelled the Basque to second on general classification behind overnight race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), while Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) dropped down to third.

Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), who finished the second stage of the six-day race in third place, moved up a to fourth on general classification. Adam Yates was the highest placed Briton, finishing 13th on the day. The Ineos Grenadiers rider will start Wednesday’s third stage fifth overall, 28sec behind Roglic.

Stage one: Roglic takes early lead with time trial win

Monday April 5 — Bilbao, 13.9km (individual time trial)

Primoz Roglic — Primoz Roglic wins opening stage time trial to take lead at Itzulia Basque Country


Primoz Roglic set the fastest time in the hilly time trial on the opening day


Credit: GETTY IMAGES

Primoz Roglic took an early lead at Itzulia Basque Country after the Jumbo-Visma rider set the quickest time in the opening day time trial, on a hilly 13.9-kilometre course around Bilbao in northern Spain on Monday.

Roglic set a blistering pace of 48.194km/h to complete the opening stage in 17 minutes 18 seconds, 2sec faster than second placed Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) while the stage winner’s team-mate Jonas Vingegaard, who won a stage at February’s UAE Tour, was third.

The in-form Adam Yates who led an Ineos Grenadiers clean sweep at last month’s Volta a Catalunya was the quickest Briton on the day, finishing in sixth place, and will start Tuesday’s second stage 28sec adrift of Roglic.

It was a disappointing opening stage for Tadej Pogacar who could only muster fifth, 28sec behind the man whose heart he broke at last year’s Tour de France on the penultimate day time trial. On that occasion it was Pogacar that was celebrating when he took the leader’s jersey just 24 hours before becoming the first Slovenian to win the Tour de France.

Tao Geoghegan Hart, competing in his first race since the reigning Giro d’Italia champion sustained a minor concussion in a crash at last month’s Paris-Nice, finished in 41st place, 1min 8sec behind stage winner Roglic.

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