Aranburu wins stage 2 in the Basque Country, Evenepoel extends: Daily News

Alex Aranburu wins stage 2 of the Itzulia Basque Country.

by Dane Cash

photography by Cor Vos


Hello again, CyclingTips readers,

The Itzulia Basque Country continued on Tuesday with an entertaining second stage that saw Alex Aranburu solo to victory. Meanwhile, Remco Evenepoel signed the longest contract extension a Deceuninck-QuickStep rider has ever signed.

Read on for the latest from the world of cycling.

Dane Cash
News Editor

What’s news?

Aranburu wins stage 2 of the Itzulia Basque Country

Alex Aranburu stormed to victory on stage 2 of the Itzulia Basque Country on Tuesday, soloing clear on the descent off the day’s last categorized climb and holding on to the finish to nab the win. His Astana-Premier Tech teammate Omar Fraile sprinted to second on the day with Tadej Pogacar nabbing third. Primoz Roglic remains in the overall race lead.

The 154.8 km stage from Zalla to Sestao featured plenty of action in the finale as riders ascended the second-category climb of La Asturiana. Pogacar and others tried their luck with attacks but could not get any major gaps, while Richard Carapaz hit the deck in the early goings and would lose significant time on the day. Near the top of the climb, Max Schachmann sparked a move that drew out Roglic, Brandon McNulty, and Sergio Higuita, but they were brought back going over the top.

Moments later, Aranburu made his move, heading onto the descent solo. He quickly built his gap up to around 25 seconds, and with 5 km to go it was clear that he was on his way to a WorldTour stage win. He cruised to the victory with a 15-second gap to the chasing pack, where Fraile bested Pogacar at the line.

Roglic retained his overall lead with Aranburu jumping up to second on the GC, five seconds behind Roglic.

Top 10, stage 2

1 ARANBURU Alex (Astana-Premier Tech) 3:45:32
2 FRAILE Omar (Astana-Premier Tech) 0:15
3 POGACAR Tadej (UAE-Team Emirates)
4 GAUDU David (Groupama-FDJ)
5 WOODS Michael (Israel Start-Up Nation)
6 ROGLIC Primoz (Jumbo-Visma)
7 SCHACHMANN Maximilian (Bora-Hansgrohe)
8 LANDA Mikel (Bahrain-Victorious)
9 HIGUITA Sergio (EF Education-Nippo)
10 VALVERDE Alejandro (Movistar)

Top 10, GC

1 ROGLIC Primoz (Jumbo-Visma) 4:03:04
2 ARANBURU Alex (Astana-Premier Tech) 0:05
3 MCNULTY Brandon (UAE-Team Emirates) 0:06
4 POGACAR Tadej (UAE-Team Emirates) 0:24
5 YATES Adam (Ineos Grenadiers) 0:28
6 SCACHMANN Maximilian (Bora-Hansgrohe) 0:31
7 VINGEGAARD Jonas (Jumbo-Visma) 0:32
8 FRAILE Omar (Astana-Premier Tech) 0:34
9 KELDERMAN Wilco (Bora-Hansgrohe) 0:40
10 BILBAO Pello (Bahrain-Victorious) 0:42

Report: Sagan could sign with Deceuninck-QuickStep

According to L’Equipe, Peter Sagan could sign with Deceuninck-QuickStep for 2022.

Sagan has been with Bora-Hansgrohe since 2017, but his contract is set to expire at the end of the year, and recent reports have suggested that he could be looking elsewhere this transfer season. According to L’Equipe, Sagan’s agent Giovanni Lombardi has suggested a deal with Deceuninck-QuickStep, and Sagan’s relationship with Specialized could be instrumental in making that happen.

Sagan has ridden Specialized bikes for several years, and the American bike brand could potentially help finance a move to Deceuninck-QuickStep, which also rides Specialized.

Evenepoel signs the longest extension a Deceuninck-QuickStep rider has ever signed

Speaking of Deceuninck-QuickStep, the team announced on Tuesday that it had signed Remco Evenepoel to an extension that will keep him with the squad all the way through 2026. The 21-year-old Belgian, one of cycling’s most promising young riders, joined the team in 2019 and has already ridden to some big results, including wins at the Clásica San Sebastián and the Tour of Poland, to name only a few of his achievements so far.

“I feel really honored to put pen to paper for the next five years,” Evenepoel said via a team press release. “As Patrick [Lefevere, team manager] told me, this is the longest agreement he has ever signed with a rider. I’m really proud and happy to stay in this wonderful team, where I have already enjoyed a lot of success, and hopefully we can reach our big dreams.”

Trek-Segafredo pulls out of Scheldeprijs

Trek-Segafredo will not race Wednesday’s Scheldeprijs. The team announced on Monday that it was withdrawing from the one-day race “due to the positive coronavirus cases detected last week.”

A team representative told CyclingTips that the Trek-Segafredo Scheldeprijs roster “was mostly comprised of riders who were not already in the classics bubble. We took the decision not to fly any extra riders into Belgium as an added precaution.”

Stewart condemns racist abuse directed at Bouhanni

Jake Stewart, who suffered a broken wrist when Nacer Bouhanni drove him into the barriers at Cholet-Pays de la Loire in March, spoke out on social media Tuesday against the racist abuse that has been directed at Bouhanni since the incident.

“Despite our recent difference of opinion, let’s be absolutely clear, I stand united with @BouhanniNacer. We will all agree and disagree on certain things, but one thing that should not be of question is racism,” Stewart wrote.

“The comments and racism directed towards Nacer this last week is absolutely deplorable. There is no place for racism in this world. To the so called ‘fans’ of cycling that have made these comments, you are not welcome here.”

Tom Walton denounces anti-trans legislation in Arkansas

Tom Walton, who was instrumental in bringing the 2022 Cyclocross World Championships to Fayetteville, Arkansas, denounced anti-transgender legislation that has been passed in the state recently in a statement on Tuesday.

Last month, Arkansas passed a law that prevents transgender girls and women from participating on school sports teams consistent with their gender identity. The legislature then passed a bill that prevents transgender youth from receiving gender-affirming care. Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson vetoed the bill, but the legislature overrode that veto on Tuesday.

“We are alarmed by the string of policy targeting LGBTQ people in Arkansas,” Walton said in the statement. “This trend is harmful and sends the wrong message to those willing to invest in or visit our state. We support Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s recent veto of discriminatory policy and implore government, business and community leaders to consider the impact of existing and future policy that limits basic freedoms and does not promote inclusiveness in our communities and economy.”

Kyle Murphy DQed from GP Indurain after dropping a wrapper when trying to put it into his pocket

Rally Cycling sport director Patrick McCarty told Cyclingnews that Kyle Murphy was disqualified from the GP Indurain on Saturday after he accidentally dropped a gel wrapper outside of a designated area while trying to put it into his pocket.

According to Cyclingnews, McCarty said that a race commissaire explained the situation and told him to pull Murphy out of the race. Murphy then explained that he had accidentally dropped the wrapper.

“The learning curve is going to be steep here. It’ll make guys try harder to really make sure trash gets into their pockets, but accidents are always going to happen. You won’t completely eliminate this situation,” McCarty said.

“It will happen again and maybe with a bigger rider on a bigger team, and maybe that will lead to a revolt as to how the rule is enacted.”

Coming Up …

The Itzulia Basque Country rolls on on Wednesday with its third stage, where an intriguing finale could have GC implications. The final 25 km feature an uncategorized climb and a second-category climb before a steep first-category finale. Meanwhile, plenty of big names of both the men’s and women’s pelotons will be in Belgium for Scheldeprijs. Expect the sprinters to shine in Schoten.

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