There is an effortless way to understand the nature of the six days waiting for us in Basque Country:
Just take a look at our line-up below.
Yeah, you’ve probably got the idea by now. If you want to play the game in Itzulia Basque Country (aka Tour of the Basque Country), you’d better bring your climbing legs with you.
Right, Mike Woods?
Woods: “Steep, challenging climbs. That’s what we got here. And it’s something I look for
Obviously, that’s the Canadian’s specialty, and that’s why he is heading our line-up here as our GC man, but mainly as the headhunter for stage wins. He got at least two of them in his sights. The first will come his way in the third stage finale, which ends with two steep climbs. The next one will arrive on the last day, where we will probably see the best GC men going for the overall victory – with seven mountains to climb over 111 km.
“This is the Basque Country for you,” said our Navarra/Basque Country native sports director Oscar Guerrero. “It’s where you come to climb on narrow, tricky roads. It’s where you will find the best climbers in the world going head-to-head, trying to win this tour, not as any preparation for a Grand Tour – but as the glorious lucrative prize that will prove how good you are.”
Indeed. The peloton will be headed by names like Roglic, Pogacar, the Yates brothers, and Valverde, just to name a few. That’s why stage wins are more of a realistic goal for us here. Mike, of course, will get all the help from his teammates Hermans, Neilands, Piccoli, Cataford, and Impey. The South African will be our man to challenge on stage 5, which may be the only stage that suits sprint power riders with climbing ability.
Daryl: “It’s always a tough race on the calendar. I have had some good memories here before and I love racing with the Basque fans cheering us on. There are always a few surprises here and hopefully we can do that here”.
The race will open with a 13 km TT, where Patrick Bevin is our top TT expert to challenge for the stage.
Itzulia Basque Country
When: April 5th to April 10th.
Mike Woods 🇨🇦
Daryl Impey 🇿🇦
Alex Cataford 🇨🇦
Ben Hermans 🇧🇪
James Piccoli 🇨🇦
Krists Neilands 🇱🇻
Patrick Bevin 🇳🇿
Oscar Guerrero – Spain
Rene Andrle – Czech Republic