Windy race on 2nd day of Vuelta al País Vasco
Elciego, 4th April – 2nd Stage of País Vasco was similar to Stage 1. BAHRAIN MERIDA riders were in the bunch the whole race. Despite a lot of fighting and close contacts between riders in the bunch, our team finished the race without a crash, which was an important goal for today.
Immediately after the start of 173,4 km long race, riders had to overcome a 6.8 km climb (Cat. 2) up to 840 m above sea level. The second climb, with 1.000 m asl. (Cat. 3), came after 110 km. After that the road was quite flat but never really straight. The start of the day in Pamplona was cloudy but later through the magnificent scenery of the Rioja wine region even the grey sky changed to nice sunny but windy day.
Despite the beautiful scenery, the race was hard for the riders. “It was quite stressful, with a lot of wind and a lot of fighting between the riders in the bunch,” commented Jani Brajkovič.
“The most dangerous part was a 5 km descent before finish,” added Ion Izaguirre. “It was really crowded and at the end of the race became really fast too. Luckily we made it to the finish without a crash and that is a big reason to be satisfied with the outcome. Tomorrow starts the real race, a hard trial, and our team is ready for it.”
Today’s race ended like yesterday, the whole bunch with more than 130 riders at the same time in the town of Elciego, the so called City of Wine, located in the heart of Rioja Alavesa, surrounded by vineyards and with almost twenty wine cellars DOC Rioja and one of the most famous and most beautiful cellar Marques de Riscal.
PHOTO: MIWA IIJIMA, Press BAHRAIN MERIDA Team