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Itzulia Basque Country stage 2 - live coverage

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Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 2 of the Itzulia Basque Country.

As we join the action during this long stage, the riders face 90km of further racing.

After Monday's opening time trial, Primoz Roglic is wearing the leader's yellow jersey. 

Here he is on the podium with his young son practicing his sky jumper's victory salute. 

Itzulia Basque Country 2022 - 61st Edition - 1st stage Hondarribia - Hondarribia 7,5 km - 04/04/2022 - Primoz Roglic (SLO - Team Jumbo - Visma) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

(Image credit: Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency)

Click below to read out full stage 1 report. 

Itzulia Basque Country: Primoz Roglic wins opening time trial

HONDARRIBIA, SPAIN - APRIL 04: Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Team Jumbo - Visma sprints during the 61st Itzulia Basque Country 2022 - Stage 1 a 7,5km individual time trial from Hondarribia to Hondarribia / #itzulia / #WorldTour / on April 04, 2022 in Hondarribia, Spain. (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

(Image credit: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Roglic repeated his win from the opening time trial of the 2021 Itzulia, Primož Roglič outpaced Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep-AlphaVinyl) by five seconds, with teammate Rémi Cavagna in third at 16 seconds back. 

Here is Roglic in his race leader's yellow and his Jumbo-Visma yellow and black. 

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The rider raced over snow-covered mountains early in the stage but are now on lower and warmer roads.

We have an early break but the Jumbo-Visma team is riding to keep them in check.  

The four riders up the road are:

Julen Amezqueta (Caja Rural),  Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH), Ibai Azurmendi (Euskaltel - Euskadi) and Ibon Ruiz (Equipo Kern Pharma).

They opened a lead of 5:00 at one point but the peloton is starting to chase them down.

The Aguilar Gaina climb comes with 30km to go and is 12.km long. 

There is also a long descent but the final 15km are also hilly. Perfect for aggressive racing and perhaps  a Julian Alaphilippe attack.  

65km to go

The riders are on the flat plains now, with a slight cross wind blowing from their left.

Everyone appears to be waiting and preparing for the key climb and tense finale. 

QuickStep are also near the front as they sniff the chance of cross winds. 

Remco Evenepoel was second in the time trial and so ready to take on Roglic this week. 

The peloton is 2:45 down on the break now. 

55km to go

The gap to the five attackers is down to 2:20.  Riders are taking on final food and drink, plus taking final natural breaks.

It is the quiet before the storm. 

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50km to go

The riders will soon pass through the intermediate sprint in Viana and then the climb will loom large. 

The Aguilar Gaina climb comes with 30km to go and is 12.5km long. The average gradient is 3.1% but there are parts at 7%.

We expect attacks. 

On a wide road, riders try to move up and so spread across the road.

As we reach Viana, the break;s lead is down to 1:15.

The opening stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe has ended. 

Click here if you want to know more. We won't spoil the result for you.  

The four breakaway riders pass through the intermediate sprint but share the spoils with a fight. 

40km to go

The road is starting to rise through the vineyards on exposed roads. 

The 12.5km climb is underway and the peloton is fighting for positon.  

35km to go

The break has surprisingly extended their lead to almost 2:00 as the peloton plays a waiting game. 

There are 5km left to climb before the hilly, rolling finale back to and around Viana.

Attack QuickStep! 

They have kick-off the racing in the peloton.

There is clearly a plan to attack for Alaphilippe. 

The peloton is lined out as Mauri Vansevenant does his stuff on the front.  

There are three kilometres to climb. Vansevenant has eased up after being chased. 

The pace remains high. There are perhaps no major attacks because the climb is fast and not super steep.

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30km to go

The break is near the summit and there will be a fight for the KOM points.

The peloton crests the climb all together and still fill the road. 

They are 1:35 behind the 4 attackers. 

The descent is likely to be decisive than the climb. 

Wisely Jumbo-Visma take control of the peloton to protect Roglic. 

Julian Alaphilippe is nearby, watching for any attacks. 

The mountain KOM actually comes after a final short rise. 

Ibon Ruiz won the sprint and so should be in the KOM jersey after the stage.

20km to go

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Well. The peloton seems happy to let the break hang out front.  

Do they want the four riders to stay away and sweep up the time bonuses? Perhaps Jumbo-Visma do. 

It will be up to the riders and teams to chase them. 

15km to go

Itzulia Basque Country 2022 - 61st Edition - 2nd stage Leitza - Viana 207,6 km - 05/04/2022 - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

(Image credit: Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency)

Itzulia Basque Country 2022 - 61st Edition - 2nd stage Leitza - Viana 207,6 km - 05/04/2022 - Scenery - Peloton - photo Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

(Image credit: Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency)

The four attackers are Julen Amezqueta (Caja Rural),  Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH), Ibai Azurmendi (Euskaltel - Euskadi) and Ibon Ruiz (Equipo Kern Pharma).

They lead by 2:00 but crazily they're attacking each other.

10km to go

The break has split, with Ibon Ruiz (Equipo Kern Pharma) going solo as the road climbs.  

Julen Amezqueta (Caja Rural),  Ander Okamika (Burgos-BH), Ibai Azurmendi (Euskaltel - Euskadi) are chasing him. 

Behind the peloton is splitting too after an attack. They are 1:30 back on the attackers. 

Can they close the gap in just 8.5km and the kick-up to the finish?  

Ibon Ruiz (Equipo Kern Pharma) pushes on alone. He's fighting for every possible second.

This could be close, very close. 

Ibon Ruiz (Equipo Kern Pharma) is fighting his pain but still away. The three chasers at 10 seconds, with the peloton at 50 seconds.

Itzulia Basque Country 2022 - 61st Edition - 2nd stage Leitza - Viana 207,6 km - 05/04/2022 - Ibai Azurmendi (ESP - Euskaltel - Euskadi) - Julen Amezqueta (ESP - Caja Rural - Seguros RGA) - Ibon Ruiz (ESP - Equipo Kern Pharma) - Ander Okamika (ESP - Burgos - BH) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

(Image credit: Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency)

The peloton is traveling some 10km/h faster than the attackers but they are cutting it close. 

They have the climb up to the line but it will be close and perhaps complex on the climb to the line. 

Attack in the peloton.

The gap is down to 30 seconds. It's melting fast.  

2km to go

It's still a crazy pursuit match but the peloton now has a much better chance.

Ibon Ruiz (Equipo Kern Pharma) is solo out front. but his lead is only 15 seconds. 

The peloton are back in control. 

Itzulia Basque Country 2022 - 61st Edition - 2nd stage Leitza - Viana 207,6 km - 05/04/2022 - Ibon Ruiz (ESP - Equipo Kern Pharma) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

(Image credit: Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency)

Remco Evenepoel is leading the peloton for Alaphilippe. 

Everyone else is fighting for position into the final kilometre. 

Ibon Ruiz (Equipo Kern Pharma) is caught. 

Gruppo compatto! 500m to go! 

Uphill sprint!

Bam! Alaphilippe kicks and wins the stage.

Alaphlippe stops and hugs Evenepoel to thank him for his superb leadout out into the final kilometre. 

It is Alaphilippe's first win of 2022 in the rainbow jersey.

Chapeau Monsieur. 

 Fabien Doubey (TotalEnergies) finished an impressive second.

Brief Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 5:04:35
2Pierre Latour (Fra) TotalEnergies
3Quinten Hermans (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
4Hugo Houle (Can) Israel-Premier Tech
5Orluis Alberto Aular Sanabria (Ven) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
6Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
7Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
8David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
9Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
10Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal

The overall contenders were up there, just a few places. They didn't lose time and so  Primoz Roglic stays race leader.

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Roglic leads Evenepoel by 5 seconds, with Remi Cavagna is third at 16 seconds. 

Alaphilippe took a ten-second time bonus for his win but unfortunately he suffered a mechanical problem in the time trial and lost 44 seconds. 

He got revenge today.

General classification after stage 2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 5:14:23
2Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 0:00:05
3Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 0:00:16
4Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:18
5Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
6Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Bora-Hansgrohe
7Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:20
8Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma
9Ben Tulett (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:21
10Daniel Martinez Poveda (Col) Ineos Grenadiers

Here's the first shot of Alaphilippe celebrating victory. 

Itzulia Basque Country 2022 - 61st Edition - 2nd stage Leitza - Viana 207,6 km - 05/04/2022 - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

(Image credit: Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)

Alaphilippe and Evenepoel rightly celebrated their win.

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The riders faced some snow in the high hills of the Basque Country.

VIANA SPAIN APRIL 05 A general view of the Peloton passing through a snowy landscape during the 61st Itzulia Basque Country 2022 Stage 2 a 2076km stage from Leitza to Viana 461m itzulia WorldTour on April 05 2022 in Viana Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

(Image credit: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

The weather improved and the views were spectacular. 

VIANA SPAIN APRIL 05 A general view of the peloton competing during the 61st Itzulia Basque Country 2022 Stage 2 a 2076km stage from Leitza to Viana 461m itzulia WorldTour on April 05 2022 in Viana Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

(Image credit: Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images)

The break of the day almost stayed away but the peloton made a lat, high-speed chase.

VIANA SPAIN APRIL 05 Remco Evenepoel of Belgium and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl Polka Dot Mountain Jersey Julian Alaphilippe of France Dries Devenyns of Belgium and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl Gijs Leemreize of Netherlands and Team Jumbo Visma and James Knox of United Kingdom and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl lead the peloton during the 61st Itzulia Basque Country 2022 Stage 2 a 2076km stage from Leitza to Viana 461m itzulia WorldTour on April 05 2022 in Viana Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

(Image credit: Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images)

VIANA SPAIN APRIL 05 James Knox of United Kingdom and Team QuickStep Alpha Vinyl leads the peloton during the 61st Itzulia Basque Country 2022 Stage 2 a 2076km stage from Leitza to Viana 461m itzulia WorldTour on April 05 2022 in Viana Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

(Image credit: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

Evenepoel made a huge difference in the lead out.

“It was a nice finish, three technical corners and you had to be well-placed," Alaphilippe explained. 

"At one point I  thought the break would stay away because not many teams wanted to work behind.”

"Remco did a great job setting me up, thanks to his work I had the perfect leadout.”

To read out full report, see our growing photo gallery and full results of the stage, click below. 

Julian Alaphilippe sprints to stage 2 win at Itzulia Basque Country

Itzulia Basque Country 2022 - 61st Edition - 2nd stage Leitza - Viana 207,6 km - 05/04/2022 - Julian Alaphilippe (FRA - Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022

(Image credit: Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022)

Thanks for joining our live coverage from the Itzulia Basque Country. 

We'll have more live coverage from the race on Wednesday. We'll also have live coverage of the men's Scheldeprijs race.

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