Alex Aranburu wins the second stage of the Itzulia this Tuesday.ITZULIA BASQUE COUNTRY / Europa Press
Alex Aranburu is in a hurry. He looks at his watch and it is late, he fidgets in the saddle. He has read the headlines of the newspapers of the day, those that according to the communicators of yesteryear were used to wrap the fish the next day; or to tuck them under the jersey on icy descents, according to cyclists, like primitive goretex in times when there was no goretex. The paper and digital newspapers talk about him, a cyclist who has won two races: the Getxo Circuit and a stage of the Vuelta a Burgos, but who has been able to finish twice in the top ten in Milan -San Remo the two times he has played it with Astana.
Roglic distance to Pogacar 797 kilometers very fun for Pogacar and Roglic
Lee Aranburu that Sestao awaits him as the winner; that the finish is ideal for his running form, and that since he has contested victories against Alaphilippe or Van der Poel in similar finals, he is one of the favorites for the win at the expense of what the monsters of the peloton, both Slovenians, do. And after reading that, Aranbur is convinced that maybe, yes, that is the stage that suits him best. Probably it is a conviction that he has a long time ago, and he has studied the route, and the final tack, and the curves of La Asturiana, the mountain pass in Muskiz, in the heart of the mining area.
So the cyclist from Astana is in a hurry , a team that is not in a hurry, but rather an urgency to achieve the first victory of the season, which could have come on Saturday, although an irresistible Valverde snatched it from his very face. And since Aranburu is in a hurry, he does not wait for anyone, and instead of holding on to that slope that leads to the center of Sestao, next to the Las Llanas stadium, where the mythical green-black River wrote entire pages of football from other times, he starts a lot before, on the descent to Trapagaran, ten kilometers away. Aranburu has good legs, he's in good shape. He showed it on Monday in Bilbao, ninth in the clock, pressing on the Echebarria park wall, just 31 seconds behind Roglic, so his team prepares the acceleration. It causes a minimal stoppage in the march and Alex advances on the left, while Omar Fraile looks to see if there are any daring who follow him. Nobody.
Aranburu enters Trapagaran alone, drives down the straight towards Sestao without enemies around him, crosses the industrial ruins of Altos Hornos, Tubos Reunidos and other factories that were and no longer are, and arrives at the foot of the last climb with half a minute of difference with the pursuers, and there, on the slope on which he had to press to try to win, he has already won, and he gives up a few seconds because he knows that he will climb the podium to receive the bouquet and the txapela. He wins because he was in such a rush ten kilometers from the finish line, and he is second overall, five seconds behind Roglic, impassive in the face of Aranburu's attack, and in front of those he received in La Asturiana. It was Pogacar who put the most effort, but the leader cut the gap without lifting his butt off the saddle, like someone who washes. Then it was he who, along with McNulty and Higuita, joined Schachmman's attempt. The four opened a gap in the ascent to the last port, but Pello Bilbao closed it in the descent. Then Alex Aranburu was in a rush. Everything tightens before the third stage, between Amurrio and Ermualde, which ends in a first-rate port.
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