Aranburu finishes in Sestao a round day of Astana

Fraile attacked in La Arboleda and put everyone with the hook, and his partner finished in a perfect teamwork. Roglic remains in the lead, with five seconds over Alex.


Everything that Martinelli designed with his Astana at the concentration hotel in the morning was reflected step by step in the second stage of the Tour of the Basque Country, the first in line, between Zalla and Sestao. With these two deliveries, just an aperitif, it has become clear that Itzulia is exciting, a delight tasted even more passionately after the 2020 blank due to the pandemic. What did vary was the weather, like from white to black. After the sun on Easter Monday, a northern Tuesday, wintry, with water and less than ten degrees at all times. Pogacar, who promises to provide firewood, moved the tree in La Asturiana and called on the favorites to set the alarm clock. Later, in La Arboleda, a stretch that he knows like the back of his hand, Fraile tried, who put everyone with the hook. It was the decoy, if it worked, go ahead, and if not, there was another bullet in the chamber. Aranburu, a cyclist who started this Itzulia like a rocket, launched a fierce counterattack, the auction, which led him to the stage victory and touch the yellow. The 15 seconds he took out the favorites, led by Fraile for the blue double, added to the bonus, left him as the most immediate pursuer of the leader Roglic, five seconds behind.

The final 40 kilometers were exciting, a continuation of the interesting battle against the clock of yesterday's opening in Bilbao. The novel ascent to La Asturiana and the terrain rarely explored in elite competition at La Arboleda gave throbbing tints. The stage started with a breakout of seven riders: Iturria, Gastauer, Irisarri, Hermans, Cabedo and two DSM cyclists like Tusveldj and Vermaerke. Movistar and Ineos were controlling from behind, while Astana sharpened knives for the final pick-me-up. They were more than four minutes ahead.

The day was moved, with an accident like Kelderman's, who got caught with his partner Benedetti and Knox, and ended up with a bloody right thumb. When studying the profile of the stage, everyone noticed that you had to get to La Asturiana well positioned, because it is very narrow at the beginning and makes a funnel; also, the first three kilometers are hard. As they began to climb, the fallen in battle of the escape were collected. Cabedo shook the group, which began to break up and thin out to about 40 riders. In a curve, Carapaz fell while skating and was off the hook. Juan Pedro López had a mechanical problem on a slope. Gaudu reacted five kilometers to reach the top and in his attack he had a luxury guest: Pogacar, who put the nerves like spikes to the candidates for the txapela. From minute one the Slovenian is already playing.

In the end, order reigned. Two kilometers away to crown La Asturiana, Schachmann took over and gave his ax. Roglic finally answered those skirmishes. McNulty and Higuita, Pogacar's lieutenant. they tried to hook up with the header duet, even though it was hard for them. Then it was time for Astana. Fraile launched himself at La Arboleda and then Aranburu finished off, while Peio Pello shot behind. On the descent button the Astanas behaved like a well-tuned orchestra.

Aranburu looked back at the Galindo slope, a half-kilometer steep slope that starts at 13 percent unevenness, although the prize, the story for him, was in front of his eyes. He regulated well and won. For a few moments he enjoyed the virtual leadership. Let your imagination run wild with the Slovenian imperial duo Roglic-Pogacar and dream of something even bigger than a stage. The Tour winner scratched four bonus seconds, finishing third on the day.

Alexander Aranburu Deba, from Ezkio, at the Goierri in Gipuzkoa, in the interior, is only 25 years old and made his professional debut with Murias in 2016. Then he moved to Caja Rural. Teams that projected Astana, already in the first row in the world. He has won the Getxo Circuit (2019) and a stage in the Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid and another in Burgos.

Tomorrow's stage, the third of the Basque round, will be the first of the two with a high finish. A journey through Alava lands starting in Amurrio, 167.7 km of route and explosive arrival at the Ermualde wall (First), in Llodio. An ascent of 3.1 km at 11.5 percent and sections to 20 in a second kilometer at 15.6. That final, novel, is preceded in addition to another previous wall with the summit 9 km from the finish, that of Malkuartu, just over 2 km and initial peaks of up to 14 percent. Before, two other heights of Tercera, Altube (km14.9) and La Tejera (km 65.9), without much significance.



1. ALEX ARANBURU (ESP / Astana-Premier Tech) 3: 45: 32.

2. OMAR FRAILE (ESP / Astana-Premier Tech) to 15.

. Tadej Pogacar (SVN / UAE-Team Emirates) mt

4. David Gaudu (FRA / Groupama-FDJ) mt

5. Michael Woods (CAN / Israel Start-Up Nation) mt

... // ...

6. Primoz Roglic (SVN / Team Jumbo-Visma) mt


1. Primoz Roglic (SVN / Team Jumbo-Visma) 4: 03: 04.

2. ALEX ARANBURU (ESP / Astana-Premier Tech) at 5.

. Brandon McNulty (USA / UAE-Team Emirates) 6.

4. Tadej Pogacar (SVN / UAE-Team Emirates) 24.

5. Adam Yates (GBR / INEOS Grenadiers) 28.

... // ...

8. OMAR FRAILE (ESP / Astana-Premier Tech) 34.

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