A day with 8 ports and a final in Arrate will decide the Tour of the Basque Country

This Friday the route of the Basque round was presented, which will be held from April 5 to 10 and where Pogacar, Roglic and Mikel Landa are expected to compete.


La Itzulia 2021 presented, telematically, its route. It will be played between Monday 5 and Saturday 10 April if the circumstances of the pandemic allow it. He will leave Bilbao with an individual time trial and will finish in Eibar, as has happened on other occasions. Entering the South of France was ruled out and some places that had been committed to be arrivals or departures have changed their criteria to allocate these funds to other purposes related to health and the economy. This is the case, for example, of Renteria.

The UCI invited the organization of the Tour of the Basque Country to relocate the 2020 edition in August but it made no sense for bicycles to occupy Basque populations while, for example, their capitals were suspending the Big Weeks. The initial commitment was to maintain the departures and arrivals for the 2021 edition but some city councils have taken off the hook for obvious reasons. There will be no female Itzulia but there will be Classic of San Sebastián in both modalities. Everything is pending, again, of the march of the virus but it is scheduled for July 31, the day of Saint Ignatius.

It is not official but some riders have already made their intentions public for the season and, according to all indications, we will attend the first rematch of the last Tour de France between Tadej Pogacar and Primoz Roglic. The two have expressed their intention to be present at the Bilbao starting line. Other runners, like Mikel Landa, have also marked that race with a flashing red asterisk. Apart from the Tour and the Giro (to be confirmed) it may be the key moment of his year along with the possible dispute of the Tokyo Olympic Games where the Zuyano also wants to be present, as long as he is summoned by the national coach.

“What bothers me the most is that this cycling without an audience is not cycling or anything, but it is the most that we can offer to lovers of this sport. We work with the intention and with the idea that everything is going to be played on scheduled dates but this damn virus is continually giving us surprises. Last year we had a very bad time preparing for the race, then we had to be expectant, we thought about postponing and we ended up failing. It seems that things are going better now in 2021 but we have to wait for anything because everything is very unpredictable, ”Julián Eraso, president of the Basque Cycling Organizations (OCETA), assured Diario AS.

There will be three bubbles: the first one for runners, sports directors, assistants and people who are essential for the race to take place. In the second there will be people close to the cyclists (television cameras for example) and in the third, all those responsible for the race who, when in contact with people from the municipalities or sponsors, will see the event from outside. The PCRs will be mandatory 72 hours before the start of the Itzulia and there will be continuous protocols during the race. A document of health commitment from the borrower must also be signed. The great novelty in Itzulia 2021 is that it will not go through Navarre roads or through the Basque-French Country.

The stages of the Tour of the Basque Country 2021

- Monday, April 5. Bilbao-Bilbao. Individual chrono. 13.9 kms. Departure from Begoña and arrival at Etxeberria Park, entering through the Plaza del Gas and the Chimney area.

- Tuesday, April 6. Zalla-Sestao. 154.9 kms. Tour of the Encartaciones. Novelty of the port of Asturiana, behind La Arboleda.

- Wednesday, April 7. Amurrio-Ermualde. 167.7 kms. Through Álava lands.

- Thursday, April 8. Vitoria-Hondarribia. 189, 2 kms. Ports of Deskarga, Alkiza, Jaizkibel and Erlaitz.

- Friday, April 9. 160, 2 kms. Hondarribia-Ondarroa. With Urkaregi, Gonztagaraigana and Mendexa.

- Saturday April 10. Ondarroa-Eibar (Arrate). 111.9 kms. Arribinieta, Elkorrieta, Azurki, Elosua-Gorla, Krabelin, Trabakua, Usartza and Arrate are climbed. The climb to the sanctuary will be by Azitain, along the Orbe track.

Photos from as.com
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