Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic resume duels in the Itzulia Basque Country
Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar are set to face off for the first time in a stage race since the 2020 Tour de France at the Itzulia Basque Country, which starts today
New name for the Tour of the Basque Country, which will also include tricolor Jonathan Caicedo (EF) and Jefferson Cepeda (Caja Rural).
Without disputing 2020 for the coronavirus pandemic, The Itzulia Basque Country (Tour of the Basque Country) returns in 2021 with more strength and prominent names in the world peloton. Slovenians Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic they will meet again and reissue the duels of the last Tour de France, a fight to which the Ecuadorian joins Richard Carapaz and a batch of riders who will seek to succeed local Ion Izaguirre on the podium.
It will be the first test of the season in which they coincide Pogacar, Roglic and Carapaz, fight in which the attention of a test that proposes its attractiveness on the route will be focused, with 800 kilometers divided into six stages that will have a total of 22 scoring ports and an individual time trial on the opening day, this Monday.
At the starting line there will be 167 cyclists from 19 UCI WorldTour teams and 5 ProTeam, among these the Caja Rural-Seguros RGA of Ecuadorian Jefferson Cepeda in search of prominence, like the one reached on Saturday at the Miguel Indurain GP, ??where the tricolor dropped off the lead 12 kilometers from the finish line.
Another tricolor in fight will be Jonathan Caicedo, enrolled by EF Education-Nippo. For the two Ecuadorians it will be their second race of the season.
For counteract the potential UAE Team Emirates, led by Pogacar, and Roglic’s Jumbo-Visma, Ineos Grenadiers accompanies Carapaz with Tao Geoghegan Hart (Giro 2020), Adam Yates (Return to Catalonia) and Andrey Amador, gregarious of the Locomotive in the Tour of Spain, the “reunion” as highlighted by the Ecuadorian in his networks.
To platoon fight The Bora-hansgrohe by Maximiliam Schachmann, the Bikeexchange by Colombian Esteban Chaves, the EF by Hugh Carthy and Caicedo, the Trek-Segafredo by Bauke Mollema, Groupama-FDJ with David Gaudu, the Cofidis by Guillaume Martin, Lotto Soudal or the Israel Start-Up Nation, a legion of powerful teams who assume this test as one of the highlights of the international calendar, beyond being preparatory for the Grand Tours.
The race starts this Monday with a demanding 13.9-kilometer time trial in Bilbao, with ramps of up to 11% and a wall of 19% on arrival at Etxebarria Park, the first sip of six intense days, until Saturday, when the test closes in Eibar.
The starting order for the CRI was established with Mikel Bizkarra (Euskaltel-Euskadi) as the first competitor, with a start at 14:03 local (07:03 in Ecuador).
Ecuadorians leave from 08:32. Caicedo in position 90, Cepeda 101 (08:43) and Carapaz 113 (08:51).
The champion Izaguirre leaves at 10:07, Roglic at 07:10 and Pogacar closes at 10:13. (D)
2021 Tour of the Basque Country
Monday, April 5: first stage, Bilbao – Bilbao, 13.8 km (CRI)
Tuesday April 6: second stage, Zalla – Sestao, 154.8 km.
Wednesday April 7: third stage, Amurrio – Ermualde, 167.7 km.
Thursday April 8: fourth stage, Gasteiz – Hondarribia, 189.2 km.
Friday April 9: fifth stage, Hondarribia – Ondarroa, 160.2 km.
Saturday 10 April: sixth stage, Ondarroa – Arrate (Eibar), 111.9 km.