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Itzulia Basque Country, Stage 1. Alex Aranburu takes ninth place in opening time trial in Bilbao

Alex Aranburu put in a solid performance today in Bilbao in the opening individual time trial of Itzulia Basque Country. Aranburu looked strong on the course, especially in the second half with a fast descent and a short, but super explosive uphill final. At the end of the day the Astana – Premier Tech rider finished ninth, just 30 seconds behind the stage winner and the first race leader Primoz Roglic.

“I felt much better than at Gran Premio Miguel Indurain, and I was motivated to try to do a good race. I knew that the route suited me quite well with short climbs and downhills, so I just gave my best on the course. I had really nice feelings on my bike during the whole stage and I am happy to get a high result at the start of the race. I am really looking forward to this week at my home race”, – said Alex Aranburu.

Jakob Fuglsang and Omar Fraile both showed strong time trial form, setting a fast pace out on the road. As a result, Fuglsang finished 14th, followed closely by Fraile in 16th place, just 39 and 40 seconds behind the winner, respectively.

Tomorrow, Itzulia Basque Country will continue with a demanding, hilly stage 2 from Zalla to Sestao.

Race profile.

Itzulia Basque Country, Stage 1. Bilbao – Bilbao, 13.89 km.

Stage Top-3: 1. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma); 2. Brandon McNulty (UAE-Team Emirates); 3. Jonas Vingegaard (Team Jumbo-Visma).

Astana – Premier Tech stage Top-3: 9. Alex Aranburu; 14. Jakob Fuglsang; 16. Omar Fraile.

Photo credit: @Getty Images