Primoz Roglic retained his leader’s jersey in the Tour of Basque Country on Tuesday in a tough stage. The leader of Jumbo-Visma was not fooled by an attack by his rival Tadej Pogacar, among others. The stage victory was for Astana’s Basque Alex Aranburu, who crossed the line solo.
On the final climb of the more than 154 kilometers stage between Zalla and Sestao, Pogacar tried to make up for his disappointing time trial on Monday by jumping away, but to no avail. Number nine of the rankings Aranburu did place a successful attack and won, but did not take enough time to conquer the leader’s jersey.
In the standings, Roglic is now five seconds ahead of Aranburu and six seconds ahead of UAE Team Emirates’ Brandon McNulty. His teammate Pogajar is 24 counts behind as number four.
Wilco Kelderman crashed on the way, but maintained himself at the front. The BORA-hansgrohe rider is now the best Dutch rider in ninth place in the classification (+0.40).
Leading group with Tusveld
Tuesday’s stage, in which the peloton had to cross a total of two cols of the third category and one of the second category, was initially colored by seven refugees. Among them Martijn Tusveld of Team DSM, the former Team Sunweb.
The front runners got a maximum lead of about four minutes, but were swallowed up one by one by the chasing peloton at the foot of the final climb. Burgos’s Óscar Cabedo was the last to give up.
On that last climb, La Asturiana of the second category with especially steep parts in the beginning, the classification men showed themselves. First Pogacar turned on and later Roglic went himself, but at first no one really got away. Aranburu did hit a gap at the top and seemed to be on the way to the leader’s jersey, but Roglic was spared that.
The Tour of the Basque Country continues on Wednesday with a stage over 167 kilometers from Amurrio to Ermualde, where the peloton has to cross four cols, of which the last (of the first category) is the toughest. The finish is at the top.