The Izagirre brothers ready for the home race
The 58th Vuelta at the Pais Vasco – six stages from next Monday to Saturday – presents this year several innovations starting from the traditional individual time trial which will be on the 4th stage and no on the last one as before, while the grand finale will be on the ascent of the Arrate Sanctuary which has a gradient, from the first to the third kilometer, close to 15%.
Great expectations also for the second stage from Zarautz to Bermeo: in the final stage will be tackled the ascent of Sollube with a stretch of about a kilometer and a half with gradients to 15% but with a peak even up to 20%. Very few kilometers will divide the mountain grand prize from the final Bermeo finish line.
For Sport director Gorazd Štangelj: “the Vuelta is one of the toughest races on the international calendar and also this year’s edition presents many very challenging climbs. Starting from the first stage that could already be decisive in delineating the possible winners. Our two leaders will be Ion and Gorka Izagirre: the route adapts very well to their characteristics “.
In the past edition Ion arrived 3rd (as well as in 2015) and this year he hopes to climb higher: “It’s a special race, it’s the home race! I trained well and I feel good. The path I like with so many climbs that I know well: there is also the 19km time trial that is completely flat. I tried the route a month ago and I found it not very technical but very fast “.
Even his brother Gorka feels the “Pais Vasco” in a special way: “It’s the race that every young Basque dreams to win. Up to now, I am happy with my season and with the results I achieved in the Tour of Oman and Paris-Nice. I expect a very hard race with the last two stages where everything can happen”.
TBM line-up for Vuelta al Pais Vasco: Vincenzo Nibali, Ion Izagirre, Gorka Izagirre, Franco Pellizotti, Mark Padun, Yukiya Arashiro and Herman Pernsteiner