Roglic makes strong solo defence of lead on Itzulia Basque Country's first hilly stage

Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar at the Itzulia Basque Country
Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar at the 2021 Itzulia Basque Country (Image credit: Getty Images)

"That's racing, you always expect attacks," and variants thereof was how Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) broadly summed up a hugely dramatic finale to stage 2 of the Itzulia Basque Country, in which he defended his overall lead against some punchy moves by, above all, UAE Team Emirates' duo Tadej Pogačar and Brandon McNulty.

Pogačar and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) opened up hostilities on the narrow, twisting slopes of the second-category Alto de la Asturiana and the defending Tour de France champion then made repeated attempts to split the favourites' group until McNulty went for it over the top of the climb.

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.