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Itzulia Basque Country stage 1 – Live coverage

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Itzulia Basque Country stage 1 time trial - start times


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the opening stage of Itzulia Basque Country, otherwise known as the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

The action is already under way in Bilbao, with the first few riders having set off to start their rides.

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) is starting early, as is Patrick Bevin (Israel Start-Up Nation), who might otherwise have looked forward to a nice spell in the hotseat early on.

It's not an easy start for the riders as they climb right away, up to Santo Domingo. The second-cat climb features spells of double-digit gradients. The rest of today's course takes in a downhill section and a short portion of flat road before the final kick to the line, a 500-metre long wall to the finish.

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) is also out on course, while Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) is about to get underway.

Roglič is unsurprisingly quickest over the climb. His time of 7:47 is 15 seconds quicker than Bevin, and a full 53 seconds up on anyone else.

Only a handful of men have finished their efforts. Total Direct Energie's Fabien Grellier is fastest so far at 19:08.

Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) gets underway.

Pieter Serry (Deceuninck-QuickStep) passes the climb 30 seconds down on Roglič.

Bevin's 17:45 easily puts him at the top of the leaderboard, but Roglič finishes soon afterwards. The Slovenian is in the hot seat with a time of 17:17!

Buchmann is going well. He crests the climb 14 seconds down on Roglič.

Roglič warms down.

Mollema crosses the line 1:25 down on Roglic. He's fifth-fastest so far.

Quite a few big names setting off in the next 15 minutes – Michael Woods, Jonas Vingegaard, David Gaudu, Jakob Fuglsang and Esteban Chaves.

Pello Bilbao (Bahrain Victorious) is second-fastest at the checkpoint, 11 seconds down on Roglič.

But Vingegaard is having a great ride, too. He's just two seconds down at the checkpoint.

Meanwhile, Buchmann finishes his effort in third.

Max Schachmann follows Chaves and Fuglsang out of the starting gate.

Vingegaard wasn't able to match Roglič after the climb. He lost 16 seconds to his teammate and now lies second, 18 seconds down.

Bilbao and Woods slot in at fourth and seventh at the finish.

Schachmann, Fuglsang and Gaudu at the top of the climb – 10, 11 and 27 seconds down on Roglič.

Laurens De Plus, Thomas De Gendt, James Knox and Wilco Kelderman all head off in the next 10 minutes.

We don't know what's going on with Chaves. He hasn't passed the checkpoint on the climb yet. Jan Polanc, who started two minutes after him, has though...

De Gendt sets off from the start.

Schachmann finishes fourth quickest at 17:48 while Fuglsang is a further 8 seconds now. Both some way off Roglič's 17:17.

Chaves finished in 19th at 1:38. Not sure what happened earlier on with the timings.

De Plus, at 26 seconds down, is the closet anyone has come to the top of the checkpoint standings lately. We've seen a lot of strong riders come and go already.

Some of the key men still to come. Pogačar is the last man out in just under two hours (all times CET).

De Gendt is 17 seconds down at the checkpoint, good for eighth so far.

A look at Roglič during his earlier effort. He's still top of the standings.

Wilco Kelderman has passed the checkpoint third-fastest. He's just three seconds down on Roglič, but he'll have to work to stay that close to the Slovenian.

De Gendt has set a time of 18:12 at the finish, good for eighth.

Mattia Cattaneo (Deceuninck-QuickStep) is about to get going.  He finished eighth at the UAE Tour earlier this season.

Not many big contenders riding during this mid-section of the stage. Patrick Konrad and Ben O'Connor will be racing in the next 15 minutes, though.

Rafał Majka finishes his effort in 10th, exactly a minute down on Roglič.

Cattaneo is 15 seconds down at the checkpoint.

Nacer Bouhanni subjected to online racist abuse after Cholet sprint incident

Tobias Foss goes third-fastest at the finish. He was 12 seconds down on Roglič at the top of the climb and lost a further 12 seconds on the rest of the course.

Cattaneo is making his way to the finish.

The Italian finishes ninth, 40 seconds down.

Sam Oomen and Ben O'Connor are out on course. Richard Carapaz sets off.

Omar Fraile (Astana-Premier Tech) sneaks into the top 10 at the finish, 40 seconds down. He was 11th at the checkpoint.

Czech TT champion Josef Cerny (Deceuninck-QuickStep) sets off.

Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) finishes in 20th as Mas starts his effort.

And now Hirschi goes. No changes in the top 10 at the checkpoint or finish since the last update.

Gino Mäder crosses the line 1:20 down in 32nd place. Not as close to Roglič as he was on Valdeblore La Colmiane at Paris-Nice, then.

Carapaz is 13 seconds down at the check on the climb.

Carapaz is climbing to the finish now.

The Ineos Grenadiers rider crosses the line 45 seconds down. That's 12th fastest so far.

Hirschi is four seconds down at the checkpoint – that's the fourth fastest time.

Tao Geoghegan Hart gets under way.

Hirschi  climbs to the finish but he's not close to Roglič. 37 seconds down in seventh place.

Sergio Higuita gets underway.

Geoghegan Hart is coming closer to the checkpoint, meanwhile.

Geoghegan Hart is 19th, 24 seconds down, at the checkpoint.

Brandon McNulty (UAE Team Emirates) gets under way.

A good ride for Daryl Impey, who takes 17th, 54 seconds down.

We're heading into the last 20 riders now. Two minutes between each man as they head out.

Some news from Kern Pharma – Kiko Galvan leaves the race after suffering a stomach ache and tonsilitis. He has returned three negative PCR tests in the last eight days, but his bubble partner Marti Marquez will also leave the race as a precaution.

Geoghegan Hart finishes his effort in 28th position, 1:08 down Roglič. Not great.

McNulty takes five seconds off Roglič's time at the checkpoint!

Higuita loses 53 seconds on Roglič at the finish. We'll have to wait for McNulty for someone to challenge the Slovenian here.

Mikel Landa sets off. Going by his TT history, his GC challenge might already be over in around 18 minutes' time.

A very nice time for Astana's Alex Aranburu. The Basque rider finishes with a timee of 17:47 to slot into fifth.

Bora-Hansgrohe's Ide Schelling was sixth at the checkpoint. Now he crosses the finish line in fifth, 29 seconds down.

Now it's McNulty's turn to climb to the finish.

He crosses the line just two seconds down! Roglič stays in the hot seat.

21 seconds down after the 2.6km climb for Landa.

Adam Yates starts in two minutes. Guillaume Martin, Hugh Carthy, Alejandro Valverde, Ion Izagirre and Tadej Pogačar follow in the next 25.

Yates heads off.

Landa heads up to the finish.

He finishes 21st at 49 seconds.

Guillaume Martin and Mauri Vansevenant are off. Carthy and Valverde next.

Yates is seven seconds down at the checkpoint.

While Carthy starts his effort.

Just five men to go – Alejandro Valverde, Lars van den Berg, Ion Izagirre, Giovanni Aleotti, and Tadej Pogačar.

Valverde heads off. The 40-year-old won the GP Miguel Indurain on Saturday. Great to see him still doing so well nine years after his doping ban.

Vansevenant is 12th at the checkpoint, 16 seconds down.

Ion Izagirre heads down the start ramp.

Adam Yates is almost at the final climb.

He's on the climb now, and is past Roglič's time fairly early on.

He finishes 28 seconds down with a time of 17:45. Sixth place.

Carthy is 28 seconds down just at the checkpoint...

Aleotti is starting his effort now. Just Pogačar left to go.

And there goes Pogačar.

He's the only man who can realistically overhaul Roglič now.

Guillaume Martin crosses the line 1:29 down.

Valverde is ninth at the checkpoint, 14 seconds down.

Vansevenant crosses the finish line 43 seconds down. Carthy is climbing to the line now. He's way down.

Carthy is 1:06 down at the finish.

Pogačar nears the checkpoint after seven minutes on the road.

Meanwhile, Valverde is close to finishing.

Pogačar is scond at the checkpoint, three seconds down and equal to Roglič.

Actually the timings now show Roglič five seconds down on McNulty, so Pogačar is two seconds up on the Jumbo-Visma leader.

Van den Berg, Ion Izagirre and Aleotti still to finish before Pogačar gets there.

1:09 down for Izagirre at the finish. He won this race back in 2019, remember.

All eyes on Pogačar now.

The on-screen graphic just showed Pogačar +00:18 McNulty. Not sure how accurate that is at this point – after 15 minutes on the road.

Pogačar starts the climb now.

He's not going to do it...

Up the last 200 metres and he's down on Roglič.

Pogačar loses 28 seconds! Wow. That is a very bad start to the week for him.

He finishes seventh.

Here's what Roglič had to say after the stage... A great comeback after crashing and dislocating his shoulder on the final stage of Paris-Nice last month.

Here's our brief report, gallery and results for the day.

Roglič celebrates on the podium.

Roglič takes the yellow and green jerseys for the GC and points. Pogačar is in the re-and-white polka dots of top climber as he was quickest to the first checkpoint. McNulty is in blue as the best young rider.

Stay tuned with us for more news and reaction straight from the race from our man on the ground Alasdair Fotheringham.

Our full stage report will be up soon, too.

That's all from me today, though. Be sure to come back tomorrow for more live coverage of Itzulia Basque Country as the riders head into the hills on the road to Sestao.

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