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Juan Ayuso in the blue best-young-rider's jersey during stage 6 of Itzulia Basque Country 2024.

Basque Country wrap-up: A series of unfortunate events ends in overshadowed victory for Juan Ayuso

Itzulia Basque Country ends with a sigh of relief after a week of curious mishaps and potentially season-defining crashes.

Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) leads teammate Marc Soler, Esteban Chaves (EF Education-EasyPost) and Steven Kruijswijk (Visma-Lease a Bike) during stage 6 of Itzulia Basque Country 2024. Photo: © Cor Vos

Kit Nicholson
by Kit Nicholson 06.04.2024 Photography by
Cor Vos
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The 2024 edition of Itzulia Basque Country is likely to be remembered more for one potentially season-defining crash than the racing itself. And that incident wasn’t the only strike against the hapless event after a bewilderingly dramatic opening time trial – not in a good way – and numerous other smaller crashes throughout the week.

But while it finished without a large number of key protagonists – Jonas Vingegaard, Primož Roglič, Remco Evenepoel, Jay Vine and Mikel Landa just some of those left watching from the sofa or a hospital bed – the race went on, and a number of brilliant battles were played out under the shadow of stage 4’s horrific crash.

Paul Lapeira looks delighted as he sprints to victory on stage 2 of 2024 Itzulia Basque Country.
Paul Lapeira took his third pro win in as many weeks on a rain-spattered stage 2.
Mattias Skjelmose holds the yellow jersey on the podium following stage 4 of Itzulia Basque Country 2024.
With Roglič leaving the race in the team car, this was not how Skjelmose wanted to take the yellow jersey.

Brief stage-by-stage results:

  1. Primož Roglič (Bora-Hansgrohe)
  2. Paul Lapeira (Decathlon-AG2R La Mondiale)
  3. Quinten Hermans (Alpecin-Deceuninck)
  4. Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty)
  5. Romain Grégoire (Groupama-FDJ)
  6. Carlos Rodríguez (Ineos Grenadiers)

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Quote of the week:

“A year ago I was training on these same roads, curiously enough, as I was recovering from my injuries, and now I’ve got my victory here in the Basque Country. It’s a huge win. Getting my first overall stage race victory and in the WorldTour as well – it couldn’t be better.”

Juan Ayuso after stage 6
Juan Ayuso on the podium of Itzulia Basque Country 2024.
“Chapeau.”

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