Itzulia Basque Country stage 5 – Live coverage

Itzulia Basque Country stage 5 – Live coverage




Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Josef Cerny (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Andrey Amador (Ineos) and Andreas Leknessund (DSM)

Peloton at 2:30

Israel Start-Up Nation, Team BikeExchange and EF Education First lead the peloton for the time being, with an eye to the chances of men like Daryl Impey, Dion Smith and Magnus Cort.


The leaders Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Josef Cerny (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Andrey Amador (Ineos) and Andreas Leknessund (DSM) are approaching the day’s first classified climb to Medexa with a lead of 2:23 over the peloton.

Away from the Basque Country, it was confirmed yesterday that both Jai Hindley and Romain Bardet will ride the Tour of the Alps later this month after Team DSM were given a late invitation to the race. Bardet and Hindley have yet to confirm their Grand Tour plans for 2021, but this addition to their race programme would appear to indicate that at least one of them will line out in the Giro d’Italia. A number of confirmed Giro participants are already fine-tuning their form at Itzulia Basque Country, including race leader Brandon McNulty, Mikel Landa, Emanuel Buchmann and Bauke Mollema.



Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Josef Cerny (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Andrey Amador (Ineos) and Andreas Leknessund (DSM)

Peloton at 2:20

There are three category 3 climbs on the agenda this afternoon, starting with the ascent of Medexa (1.7km at 7.7%) after 89km. Gontzagaraiagana (2.6km at 6.5%) comes with 45km to go, while the summit of Ukaregi (5km at 4.8%) comes with 29km remaining.



Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Josef Cerny (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Andrey Amador (Ineos) and Andreas Leknessund (DSM)

Peloton at 2:30

Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos) returned to action this week at Itzulia Basque Country following the crash that forced him to abandon Paris-Nice. The Briton’s training was limited in the build-up to the race and he has ridden here in support of Adam Yates. “For sure it’s early to be racing again, I had two weeks off training but in reality, it was a bit more, to be honest as the first bit [of riding again] was indoors,” Geoghegan Hart told Cyclingnews. “I only really did one full week of training before this so it’s been a hard first few days, we’re at the height of the season here with guys coming off of Tirreno and Paris-Nice but that’s how it goes.” Alasdair Fotheringham has more here.

Tao Geoghegan Hart was back racing at the Itzulia Basque Country

(Image credit: Getty Images)


The escapees are on the unclassified ascent towards Itziar still with a lead of two minutes or so over the peloton. 


And then there were six… After a spirited chase of what seemed like a lost cause, Andreas Leknessund (DSM) has joined Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Josef Cerny (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Andrey Amador (Ineos). This sextet has two minutes on the peloton.

Although Jumbo-Visma lost the overall lead yesterday, directeur sportif Grischa Niermann insisted the scenario was not an altogether negative one ahead of Saturday’s demanding finale to Arrate. “Of course, we’d always rather have the jersey, but we can’t control everything and for us a situation like this is also really good for the big stage on Saturday,” Niermann said. “We were talking about this scenario that could happen – but there are two riders who are a lot stronger uphill here and that’s Primož and Pogačar.” Alasdair Fotheringham has more here.

Itzulia Basque Country 2021 - 60th Edition - 1st stage Bilbao - Bilbao 13,8 km - 05/04/2021 - Primoz Roglic (SLO - Jumbo - Visma) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/BettiniPhoto©2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)


Leknessund is sticking grimly to his task and he is chipping away at the advantage of the break, which he has cut back to 27 seconds. The peloton, meanwhile, is a further two minutes back, with Israel Start-Up Nation, EF Education-Nippo and Caja Rural-Seguros RGA occupying the front positions. 



Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Josef Cerny (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Andrey Amador (Ineos)


Chaser at 0:40:

Andreas Leknessund (DSM)

Peloton at 2:12

After his canny attack yesterday, Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) is the first American to lead the Tour of the Basque Country since Chris Horner in 2010. The Arizonan will expect to defend the jersey this afternoon but he knows he will face an onslaught from Jumbo-Visma on Saturday’s finale stage. “The final day is a real showdown, it’ll be super hard all day and I hope I have legs for the finale,” McNulty said. “But we’ve got Tadej [Pogacar] as well and we’ll do our best to defend the jersey.” Alasdair Fotheringham has more here.

Itzulia Basque Country

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Israel Start-Up Nation are setting the tempo in the peloton behind the break, which now has a lead of two minutes. 

Lone chaser Andreas Leknessund (DSM) is somewhere in the no man’s land between the break and the peloton. The last time check had him 40 seconds down on the five men out in front.



Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Josef Cerny (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Andrey Amador (Ineos)

Peloton at 1:50

Some other riders are trying to make it across to this quintet, which looks to be establishing itself out in front. Meanwhile, Georg Zimmerman (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) has abandoned the race after his earlier crash.


Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Ide Schelling (Bora-Hansgrohe), Mikkel Honoré (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Josef Cerny (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Andrey Amador (Ineos) attack and open a small gap over the peloton.


There has been a rapid start to proceedings, but no break has formed as yet. There have been at least two crashes, however, with Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo), Simon Geschke (Cofidis), Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Carlos Canal (Burgos-BH) and Georg Zimmerman (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) among the riders involved.

Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R-Citroen) is also a non-starter today. The Frenchman didn’t start his season until last week’s Cholet Pays de Loire due a knee injury and his withdrawal here is another setback ahead of the Ardennes Classics.


Victor de la Parte (Total Direct Energie) is a non-starter. The Spaniard hurt his knee in a crash on stage 2 and the injury has prevented him from starting today’s stage. 

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General classification after stage 4

1          Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates        12:25:21

2          Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma    0:00:23

3          Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma          0:00:28

4          Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious            0:00:36

5          Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates     0:00:43

6          Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:01:02

7          Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe  0:01:07

8          Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team     0:01:13

9          Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech       0:01:15

10        Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious          0:01:23

11        Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep     0:01:32

12        Maximilian Schachmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe      

13        Sergio Higuita Garcia (Col) EF Education-Nippo     0:01:42

14        Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana-Premier Tech 0:01:44

15        Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Team BikeExchange   

16        David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ    0:01:52

17        Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Team DSM     0:01:58

18        James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep   0:02:01

19        Pierre Latour (Fra) Total Direct Energie        0:02:02

20        Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Education-Nippo      0:02:33

The peloton is gathering on the start line for stage 5, which gets underway at 13.29 local time. 

The penultimate stage of Itzulia Basque Country brings the peloton from Hondarriba to Ondarroa, and although there are three category 3 ascents along the way, this does not advertise itself as an obvious day for the GC men. “A priori, this is the ‘easiest’ stage of Itzulia, a stage where, if there are some sprinters, they will be able to take advantage of the opportunity to control things and set up a sprint,” said technical director Roberto Laiseka. “On paper, the men in the general classification will be able to take it easier.”

Then again, anything can happen on any given day at Itzulia Basque Country and the margins, as ever, are tight atop the overall standings. Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) seized the race lead yesterday, and he carries an advantage of 23 seconds over Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) into today’s stage.

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