Julian Alaphilippe wins the second stage of the Itzulia 2018 outsprinting Primoz Roglic, Gorka Izagirre and Mikel Landa in Bermeo.
The French rider keeps the lead in the GC and will be wearing the yellow jersey tomorrow. Roglic and Gorka Izagirre, second and third respectively, are 8” and 39” away from Alaphilippe.
With a big smile on his face Alaphilippe said: “I came to the Itzulia with a stage victory in mind. I just won the second one. There’s not much more to say”. “I can’t be happier for how things are going. I’m in a really good shape, the team is doing an incredible job and we work perfectly as a group. I’m aware of how difficult the stages to come are so I prefer to go step by step”.
Alaphilippe is also leading the points classification but Roglic will be the one wearing the green jersey tomorrow as the second in classification.
Mark Padun is the new King of the Mountains with 12 points and will be wearing the polka dot jersey tomorrow. The Bahrain Merida Rider was the first at the top of Almika Sollube, the first cat 1 climb of the 2018 Itzulia. Enric Mas, 7th in GC, keeps the lead of the young riders classification and will defend the blue jersey tomorrow.
There were many attacks at the beginning of the stage before the final breakaway was formed. The peloton was divided in two parts by the wind and the break was formed while climbing the first mountain of the stage: Natxitua, with 11 riders: Alexis Vuillermoz, Mark Padun, Damiano Caruso, Alessandro De Marchi, Daniel Navarro, Carlos Vernoa, Michaek Woods, David López, Tao Geoghegan, Grmay and Rubén Guerreiro.
When approaching the intermediate sprint of Bakio (km 152), David López attacked and the peloton decided to catch the break. In the last climb of the stage, San Pelaio, David López had been neutralized by a reduced peloton.
In the last climb, Alaphilippe launched an attack followed by Primoz Roglic, Mikel Landa and Gorka Izagirre. The French rider won in front of his sprint mates. “I attacked at the right moment and I managed to keep calm and it paid off”.
Not far behind, Bardet, Quintana, De la Cruz, Bilbao, Mas, Urán, Mollema and Ion Izagirre, among others, have crossed the line 15” later.