Itzulia Basque Country stage 1 Live – Major GC contenders go against the clock

Itzulia Basque Country stage 1 Live – Major GC contenders go against the clock
Itzulia Basque Country stage 1 Live – Major GC contenders go against the clock



Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious), a former stage winner in Itzulia Basque Country, becomes the first rider to go under 13 minutes before today’s TT: 12:59.


Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) clocks the best intermediate time to date of 7:07. As the winner of the Tirreno-Adriatico opening TT, the Spaniard was expected to feature prominently in today’s stage, and he looks to be living up to expectations.


Double Itzulia Basque Country winner Primoz Roglic (Bora-Hansgrohe) is due to start at 1430, with last year’s champion Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease A Bike) following him down the start ramp two minutes later.


Howson finishes in a time of 13:33, but the Australian’s time is quickly superceded by Nicola Conci (Alpecin-Deceuninck), who clocks the provisional best time of 13:19.


Another DNS, incidentally, is reported to be Pidcock’s compatriot Simon Yates (Jayco-AIUIa) who has fallen ill.


Breaking news: according to the official race website, Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers) crashed during the recon for the time trial and will be a DNS.


And Damien Howson (Q36.5) is now out on the course and the 2024 Itzulia Basque Country is officially underway.


The climb itself is not overly difficult, just a couple of kilometers long with gradients of 6.3% at the steepest. However, as per the stage profile, there are a couple of 100 meters uphill cobbled sections on the course itself, both graded at 10% and coming in the opening and then the final kilometer, which could have some interesting consequences.


Here’s a map of the route, the first and last parts run through the town, with the only categorized climb, the cat. 3 Olaberria, on a country road just outside Irun. Then it’s a fast drop back into town and the finish

(Image credit: Other)

Reading that, you can see that the two most recent winners of the Vuelta a España, 2023 champion Sepp Kuss (Visma-Lease A Bike) and his predecessor Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) are starting within a minute of each other. Whether the Belgian can catch Kuss in such a short distance though, remains to be seen.


Roglic and Remco are in Irun, though, and like a lot of the favorites, including last year’s Itzulia Basque Country winner Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease A Bike), they’ll be off to a very early start in this afternoon’s TT. Here’s the list of start times for top contenders in the first hour of racing this afternoon:

2:17 pm Tom Pidcock (Ineos Grenadiers)

2:22 pm Pello Bilbao (Bahrain-Victorious)

2:23 pm Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates)

2:26 pm Tao Geoghegan Hart (Lidl-Trek)

2:30 pm Primoz Roglic (Bora-Hansgrohe)

2:32 pm Jonas Vingegaard (Visma-Lease a Bike)

2:47 pm Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates)

2:50 pm Mattias Skjelmose (Lidl-Trek)

2:54 pm Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe)

2:56 pm Sepp Kuss (Visma-Lease a Bike)

2:57 pm Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step)


This 10 kilometer course marks the return of the opening solo TT to the Itzulia Basque Country after a year’s absence. The last one to be held was in 2022, a 7.6 kilometer time trial in the nearby town of Hondarribia. The winner then is one of the favorites for today’s TT: Primoz Roglic, who finished five seconds ahead of another favorite for today, Remco Evenepoel and 16 seconds on the Belgian’s (then) teammate, Remi Cavagna.
Cavagna, incidentally, isn’t racing in this year’s Itzulia Basque Country. He’s currently part of Movistar’s line-up for the Classics and is set to make his debut in Paris-Roubaix next weekend.


He’ll be followed by another 167 riders, all at minute intervals, barring the last 20 who are off at two-minute intervals.


First rider down the start ramp on what is currently a sunny day in the start and finish town of Irún, right on the border on with France, is Australian Damien Howson (Q36.5) at 2.10 PM local time.


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the opening stage of the centenary edition of the 2024 Itzulia Basque Country.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Itzulia Basque Country stage Live Major contenders clock


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