BAHRAIN MERIDA lineup for the Tour of the Basque Country – Itzulia
The 57th edition of the Tour of the Basque Country, Itzulia, will take place from 3rd to 8th April. The race will link four Basque capitals —Pamplona, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Donostia-San Sebastian and Bilbao, along with Eibar, as start cities of the six stages of this edition.
The race will start from Pamplona and finish in Eibar with a 27 km individual time trial, which is 11 km longer than previous year. 160 cyclists will ride 828,06 km, including ascents to 19 climbs. However, there are 3 relatively flat stages.
Philippe Mauduit, sports director announced before the race: “Vuelta al Pais Vasco is one of the hardest one week stage races, with a lot of narrow roads and steep climbs which make the race fast and nervous. It’s also the last preparation race for most of the riders having a goal in the historic Ardens Classics, which gives the race one of the strongest start lists of the year.
Key goal of BAHRAIN MERIDA Team is to help Ion Izaguirre in achieving highest possible place in general classification and also, like in Paris-Nice, to win a stage, which is never easy on such high level of competition. First 2 stages will be more suited for sprinters and the other stages will be more for all-rounders and GC contenders.”
Leader of the race Ion Izaguirre said before the race: ”My expectation about this race is to be high in general classification and try to win one stage. I’m even more motivated to ride in front of my fans this year because I couldn’t participate due to the illness in this tour last year and for that reason I’m even more excited and I will do my best to get a good result.”
For me the Basque country tour is very especial one, it’s my home country tour in front of my fans and my family, that means I’m very motivated also due to that reason and I hardly wait for the start.”
BAHRAIN MERIDA Team lineup for Tour of the Basque Country is: Arashiro Yukiya, Bole Grega, Brajkovič Janez, Cink Ondrej, Grmay Tsgabu, Izaguirre Ion, Nibali Antonio and Visconti Giovanni.