Tour of the Basque Country 2019: Favourites

Adam yates 2019 - Tour of the Basque Country 2019: FavouritesThe Tour of the Basque Country is a perfect race for punchy climbers and bold descenders. A strong time trial comes in handy, too, as the race begins with an uphill chrono. Who are the major contenders to win the 2019 Tour of the Basque Country?

[Underneath article was written before the start of the ‘Itzulia Basque Country’ and has not been updated]

The battle for GC ignites on the first day of action with an ITT for climbers. The course includes an incredible steep ascent with ramps up to 21% before two likely sprint races lead to the 4th stage, which serves a tricky finale.

Yet, decisive moves are to expected in the two ultimate days of action. The penultimate stage includes seven tough mountains before finishing near the iconic Sanctuary of Arrate, while the 6th and last stage is an explosive out-and-back race through the hills around Eibar. Just 118 kilometres long but with six climbs, so straight from the gun racing is more than likely.

All (pre-)decisive stages in the 2019 Tour of the Basque Country tackle a number of grueling ascents before a downhill finale. The uphills are often steep, but never longer than 10 kilometres.

Adam Yates is in stellar form this season, but missed out on the win in the Tirreno-Adriatico (1 second behind Primoz Roglic) and the Volta a Catalunya. Third time’s the charm for him in the ‘Itzulia Basque Country’?

Julian Alaphilippe is on fire this season. He won Strade Bianche and Milan-San Remo, while also pocketing stage wins in the Tirreno-Adriatico, Colombia Tour and Vuelta a San Juan. Last year, he led the Tour of the Basque Country for three days, but faltered when the ceaseless onslaught of sharp hills began. Let’s see how he copes this edition.

Still competitive riders who did win the Itzulia Basque Country are Chris Horner (2010), Nairo Quintana (2013), Alejandro Valverde (2017) and Primoz Roglic (2018). None of them is riding the 2019 edition.

Favourites 2019 Tour of the Basque Country

***** Adam Yates, Mikel Landa, Daniel Felipe Martínez
**** Geraint Thomas, Enric Mas, Ion Izagirre, Julian Alaphilippe
*** Michal Kwiatkowski, Jakob Fuglsang, David Gaudu, Sam Oomen
** Gorka Izagirre, Daniel Martin, Bauke Mollema, Sergio Henao
* Simon Clarke, George Bennett, Emanuel Buchmann, Dylan Teuns


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