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Agur Itzulia 2021

The Itzulia 2021, which featured 167 riders, began with a 13 km time trial in Bilbao in which Primoz Roglic (141, JVT) was proclaimed stage winner with a time of 17’17”, closely followed just 2 seconds behind by Brandon McNulty (31, UAD), who was the surprise of this year’s race.

Alex Aranburu (3, AST) won the second stage in Sestao and took second place in the general classification but dropped points during the subsequent stages. Tadej Pogacar (31, UAD) and Roglic battled for victory during stage 3 at the Ermualde finish line in a tight sprint that ended up with Pogacar taking the win. This victory put Pogacar 20″ behind his compatriot Roglic – the race leader at the time – and McNulty came in third.

Primoz Roglic led the general classification from the outset, although McNulty did snatch it away from him in stage 4 by finishing third in Hondarribia. Stage 4 also saw the 2019 champion Ion Izaguirre (1, AST) win by the narrowest of margins in a sprint against Pello Bilbao (173, TBV) who climbed to fourth overall.

The general classification remained unchanged during the penultimate stage, with McNulty leading the way, Roglic 23″ behind him and Vingegaard (147, JVT) third at 28″. Roglic was proclaimed Itzulia 2021 champion in the sixth and final stage of the race, after a breakaway with race winner Gaudu (43, GFC). The Slovenian champion shared the podium with his teammate Vingegaard in second place and his Slovenian compatriot Pogacar in third.

This Itzulia was unforgettable.

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Roglic wins the 2021 Itzulia

  • Gaudu takes home the stage victory
  • Fantastic job by the Jumbo Visma team

In the final stage, the peloton ended up divided into several groups at the very start of the Arrabinieta climb at km 3. The first breakaway was engineered by riders Carlos Verona (56, MOV), Jan Polanc (37, UAD), Jakob Fuglsang (2, APT) and Antwan Tolhoek (145, TJV), the latter holding out the longest before being overtaken by the group of favorites.

The first passes saw the first attacks and attempted breakaways, but Roglic in the second group, at 39” from the head of the race, and Tadej Pogacar (31, UAD), accompanied by teammate Brandon McNulty (33, UAD) in the third group at 49”, started to pick up the pace.

It was from then on when McNulty could no longer keep up and began to fall behind, while Roglic managed to position himself as the leader of the race, leaving McNulty more than 3 minutes behind. Meanwhile, Pogacar turned to Mikel Landa (171, TBV) and Alejandro Valverde (56, MOV), among others, for support as he tried to shave off seconds, but the difference of nearly a minute proved to be too much.

Roglic and Gaudu won at Arrate and kept up the pace from then on, crossing the finish line together, which gave the French rider the stage victory and the Slovenian the overall victory at the 2021 Itzulia.

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Mikkel Honoré wins the 5th Stage of Itzulia 2021

  • McNulty continues to lead
  • Team Deceunink riders put in a great performance

The stage got off to a fast start, with the peloton riding at a rate of 46km/h for the first hour, and the main breakaway taking place shortly thereafter and lasting almost the entire race. The breakaway included the two riders from team Deceunink-Quick-Step: Josef Cerny (82, DQT) and Mikkel Honoré (84, DQT) Ide Schelling (17, BOH), Julien Bernard (72, TFS) and Andrey Amador (112, IGD) who managed to create a gap of more than 2’40” over the peloton.

Andreas Leknessund (134, DSM) appeared in between the peloton and the escapees, 30″ behind the lead group at all times until he was finally able to join them.

As the kilometres passed, Astana riders Omar Fraile (5, APT) and Alex Aranburu broke away from the peloton to chase down the day’s escapees – still Cerny, Honoré and Schelling – but were unsuccessful and caught again by the group.

Ultimately the three riders from the initial breakaway at the start of the race managed to hold on and were the first to cross the finish line: Honoré, Cerny and Schelling.

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Ion Izaguirre wins in Hondarribi by the narrowest of margins

  • McNulty snatches the lead from Roglic
  • Pello Bilbao takes fourth place

In the fourth stage, the peloton set off at a blistering pace which averaged nearly 50 km/h during the first two hours. The first 100 km saw several breakaway attempts by the riders, but the gap to the peloton was only about 10 seconds.

It wasn’t until km 102 that Guillaume Martin (95, COF), Ben O’Connor (154, ACT), Jefferson Cepeda (197, CJR) and Juan Pedro Lopez (97, TFS) were able to break away from the peloton with a lead of almost 3 minutes. But Martin and Cepeda dropped back during the climb to Jaizkibel.

The peloton, which continued at a high pace, fought back and with 30 kilometres to go, the gap was reduced to 30 seconds. Just before the climb to Erlaitz, the peloton was back together, and both Brandon McNulty (33, UAE) and Mikel Landa (171, TBV) tried to break away as the climb began but were ultimately caught by the peloton before reaching the summit.

The lead group began to break away containing several favourites: McNulty, Esteban Chaves (21, BEX), Ion Izaguirre (1, APT), Pello Bilbao (173, TBV) Jonas Vingegaard (147, TJV) and Emmanuel Buchmann (13, BOH). Entering Hondarribi, the six riders began to push hard and in the final sprint Izaguirre took the stage in a photo finish.

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Pogacar wins in Ermualde after a hard-fought sprint to the finish

· Roglic sigue líder de la general

· Pogacar segundo a 20’ del líder

Nada más comenzar la etapa se produjo una primera escapada con Daniel Navarro (203, BBH), Gotzon Martin (236, EUS), Felix Gall (133, DSM), Lawrence Warbasse (157, DSM), Oier Lazkano (196, CJR), Mikkel Honoré (84, DEC) y Roger Adria (221, KernPharma), que ya en los primeros kilómetros empezaron a aumentar la distancia respecto al pelotón llegando a tener una diferencia de 7’05”.

En el transcurso de la etapa el pelotón volvió a coger ritmo y pudo reducir distancias a partir del km.60. A la altura de Amurrio la distancia se había reducido ya por debajo de los 2 minutos, pero Oier Lazkano que fue el corredor más combativo (196, CJR) había incrementado el ritmo antes de entrar en Laudio a falta de 26km de la meta. 

En Okondo el pelotón consiguió reducir definitivamente las distancias respecto a los escapados del día quedándose a unos pocos segundos de ellos.  Los últimos kilómetros de la subida a Ermualde fueron muy disputados ya que los corredores se incorporaban sucesivamente en la lucha por encabezar la carrera. Hasta que en la bajada Tadej Pogacar (31,UAE) y Primoz Roglic (141, TJV) marcaron distancias y el corredor del UAE Emirates se proclamó campeón de la etapa con un tiempo de 4:04:51.

Los maillots quedan así: Roglic (General Individual y General Puntos) y Pogacar (General Montaña y General Joven)Tweets sobre #klasikoa

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Alex Aranburu wins the second stage of the Itzulia 2021

  • Roglic maintains his lead 
  • Alex Aramburu won the sprint stage after a very fast descent

 Alex Aramburu won the second stage of the Itzulia Basque Country. It was a rain-soaked stage during which 7 riders broke away around the 17 km mark. 

The breakaway was comprised of Hermans (124, IWG), Tusveld (134, DSM) and Vermaerke (135, DSM), Gastauer (152, ACT), Irisarri (194, CJR), Cabedo (205, BBH) and Iturria (234, EUS). The peloton gained a maximum lead of 4’07” at the head of the race, which was not neutralised until the last mountain pass. 

With 18.5 km to go Gaudu (43, GFC) and Pogacar (31, UAD) upped the pace and managed to create some distance from the favourites. Roglic (141, TJV), Izagirre (1, APT), Landa (171, TBV), Schachmannn (16, BOH) and co. reduced the distance and after several attacks from Pogacar (31, UAD), Schachmannn with Roglic, Higuita (64, EFN) and McNulty (33, UAD) moved ahead. 

It was not until the descent from La Asturiana pass, a very technical descent, that things became competitive again and Alex Aramburu (3, APT) took advantage of the situation to race to the finish line without looking back. Increasing his lead to 30″ during the descent. And reaching the last climb with a 35″ lead over the group of favourites, which he held to take the stage in Sestao. 

Schachmannn (16, BOH) won the mountain jersey, McNulty (33, UAD) maintained the youth jersey, and Roglic maintained the yellow jersey and the points jersey. 

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Roglic gets off to a winning start and becomes the first leader of the Itzulia 2021

– Roglic wins and gains a lead of more than 30″ over the race favourites.

– The 60th edition of the Itzulia began with a great line-up of cyclists and no public on the roads.

At long last, the Itzulia Basque Country 2021 is underway. Bilbao was today host to the first stage of the 60th edition of the Itzulia. In a short but demanding stage, just one of the favourites managed to take the stage and the lead. Primož Roglič (141, TJV) won the stage and only McNulty (33, UAD), 2 seconds behind, managed to get close to the Slovenian.

Tadej Pogačar won the mountain jersey, having finished the day’s only climb in the shortest time. McNulty, who finished second in the stage, became the best young rider. Alex Aranburu starts the Itzulia as the best Basque rider ahead of Pello Bilbao and Omar Fraile respectively.

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Alzola to partner with the Itzulia Basque Country in 2021

Basque water brand Alzola joins the Itzulia family as an Official Partner. OCETA and Alzola have reached a partnership agreement under which Alzola will provide the Itzulia with more than 10,000 bottles of water for the 6 days of the race. The bottles will be provided to the cyclists, organisers, judges and other race personnel.

Julian Eraso, “little by little, local brands are starting to support the most important race in the Basque Country. We are delighted that Alzola is partnering with the Itzulia.

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Eusko Label sponsors the Itzulia Basque Country Mountain Jersey

·        The Basque race will serve as a showcase for the distinctive brand of original, quality Basque products.

  • Part of the Basque Government campaign to support our fishermen and farmers and encourage the consumption of local produce.

The Department of Economic Development, Sustainability and Environment, via the Eusko Label brand, is sponsoring the Mountain Jersey for the Itzulia Basque Country 2021 that kicks off on 5 April next in Bilbao. The event will help to meet two of its main objectives: providing support for Basque sport and promoting original, quality local products.

The Eusko Label, a mark of origin and quality, preserves the attributes of products from the Basque primary sector based on tradition, roots, authenticity, excellence and the sustainability of the rural and coastal environment, aspects shared by the Itzulia Basque Country, one of the most important events on the Basque sporting scene.

The initiative is part of a wide-ranging campaign that the autonomous government has implemented to support primary sector producers of quality food and beverages, and to encourage the consumption of such products, especially in the light of current circumstances due to COVID-19, whilst seeking to increase the visibility of the Eusko Label brand.

It joins the “On Egin Bonoak” initiative, which was recently launched to benefit the production and extraction sector and retail trade, whilst boosting tourism in the Basque Country. This provides a €50 voucher for use in Basque accommodation for every €100 spent on agri-foods and fishing products. The vouchers, 30,000 in total, will be issued from 19 April to 31 December 2021.

From 1 June 2021 to 31 December 2022, consumers can exchange their vouchers for stays at any of the Basque accommodation establishments included in the promotion.

So far, a total of 194 accommodation establishments (117 in Bizkaia, 51 in Gipuzkoa and 26 in Alava) and 125 businesses, mostly retail or direct sales, have joined this initiative. These numbers are expected to increase significantly, as the deadline for joining runs until 22 May.

About Eusko Label

Eusko Label is a public initiative brand that identifies and distinguishes agri-food products produced, processed and/or manufactured in the Autonomous Basque Community, with a quality, specificity or uniqueness that exceeds the general average.

Its main objectives are:

  • To guarantee a high level of quality for consumers.
  • To serve consumers by enabling them to identify product origin and authenticity with total security.
  • Defend the work of producers.
  • Promote quality production.

The Eusko Label product family is made up of:

Beef from the Basque Country, Eggs from the Basque Country, Chicken from the Basque Country, Suckling Lamb from the Basque Country, White Tuna and Bluefin Tuna, Milk from the Basque Country, Honey, Potatoes from Alava, Peppers from Gernika, Ibarra Chilli, Tomato from the Basque Country, Beans from the Basque Country (Tolosa, Gernika and Araba), Chickpeas from Álava, Lettuce from the Basque Country, Chard from the Basque Country, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Farmhouse Pig and Cereals from Álava.

Produced under the Eusko Label: Processed pork and beef, Euskal Ogia and Euskal Gaztak.

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ŠKODA supports the Itzulia Basque Country

  • Un año más, ŠKODA es el coche oficial de la Itzulia y cede 25 vehículos a la organización
  • La prueba se celebra la próxima semana, entre el 5 y el 10 de abril

La Itzulia Basque Country tomará la salida el próximo 5 de abril, que este año comenzará con una contrarreloj de 13,9 kilómetros en Bilbao, y finalizará con la subida al Santuario de Arrate el sábado 10 de abril.

La Itzulia hace oficial la renovación de colaboración con ŠKODA apoyará la ronda vasca un año más, afianzando su vínculo con el ciclismo. En 2021, la marca checa vuelve a ser coche oficial, cediendo 25 vehículos a la organización y convirtiéndose en referente de esta prueba emblemática del calendario internacional UCI World Tour. Los coches servirán para mover a los jueces, dirección de carrera y personal de organización por todo el territorio de Euskadi. 

Entre la flota destacan los modelos de la gama SUV –KAROQ y KODIAQ y los familiares de las exitosas gamas OCTAVIA y SUPERB.

“Nos alegra mucho ver que ŠKODA sigue confiando en la Itzulia y en el ciclismo como un escaparate al mundo. Ya son muchos años en los que están a nuestro lado y esperemos que sigan con nosotros muchos más”, comenta Julian Eraso, presidente de OCETA. 

ŠKODA reafirma su compromiso con la Itzulia Basque Country y se asocia un año más con los valores intrínsecos del ciclismo: el trabajo en equipo y la superación personal, que forman parte del ADN de la compañía checa desde su fundación en 1895.