The break triumphs in Güeñes, but Rodríguez reacts to save his options
XXIV Bizkaiko Itzulia
Stage 1: Balmaseda-Güeñes (93,3 km)
A breakaway of seven members in which the Polartec-Kometa did not have representation marked the inaugural day of the Tour of Bizkaia junior. In the first stage, with the consequent first leadership, the Dutchman Body Del Grosso (Young Cycling) won, while the Spaniard Carlos Rodríguez, after a formidable reaction in the last summit of the course, managed to reduce his disadvantage with respect to the winner to 29 seconds and finish seventh on this first day.
Between Balmaseda and Güeñes, a journey with three cols for the Grand Prix of the mountain, seven guys (the Dutchman Body del Grosso, Young Cycling; the British Oliver Knight and Joe Laverick, HMT-JLT Condor; his compatriot Jamison Blain, Zappi Regional; Antonio Algarrada, Jufré Vic; Pau Miquel, Turismo Villanúa; Joseba López Cuesta, Basati Bike-Busturia) would consolidate a breakaway that would take up to two and a half minutes over the main pack. Attempts to reduce the differences in Polartec-Kometa, which found no collaboration from any other formation, were unsuccessful. It had to be Carlos Rodríguez, in the first person, who took the reins of the situation.
Rodríguez and the Belgian Wessel Krul (Young Cycling), in another demonstration of power and determination, would stand out from the main pack in the last climb to Menagaray and would begin their particular pursuit of the leading group, which had already lost some unity by then. In the sprint for the victory, Del Grosso would stand out over Blain, Miquel, Laverick and Lopez Cuesta. Rodriguez and Krul, about to hunt down the off-hang Knight, would limit their losses to 29 seconds; the platoon would eventually reach more than a minute.
This Friday, Itzulia will start its second stage, 79.6 kilometres, with start and finish in Markina-Xemein and, once again, with three climbs for the Grand Prix of the mountain. Milloi, Gontxugarai and Milloi, this second step at seven for the finish line.
(automatic translation, sorry for mistakes)