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Itzulia (2) - Quinten Hermans marks his return on the roads

Itzulia (2) - Quinten Hermans marks his return on the roads

For the second stage of the Itzulia Basque Country (2.UWT, 05-10 / 04), scheduled this Tuesday between Zalla and Sestao, the Belgian Quinten Hermans walked the talk. Sunday, previewing the race, he announced his intention to be influential, for example by taking the initiative in the breakaway.

And low and behold, that is exactly what he did in less than ten kilometers. Just like in his cyclocross days, the 25-year-old rider started the stage in the first row, determined to get in the breakaway. Alongside six other riders, Hermans competed in the first two of the three KOMs that featured in this 154-kilometer stage. He grabbed the most points at the top of the San Cosme and Bezi climbs, both third category, and was virtually the best climber in the race.

But in the last climb of La Asturiana (2nd category), 7 kilometers long, the fugitives were caught by the favorites, who then fought for the leading roles. Aranburu (Astana) took advantage of the marking between the overall contenders to break away in the descent of La Asturiana, and reach the finish solo after an effort of 10 kilometers.

The third stage will be similar to today's, with three categorized climbs and an uphill finish. The final ascent, however, will prove a much tougher test. The Santa Maria del Yermo climb will indeed be 3 kilometers long and displays average percentages of 10%. 

Quinten Hermans:
"Interestingly enough, today team's plan was to have a rider in the breakaway, and for me it was about saving energy for the uphill final that suited me. But I found myself riding really hard in front, in a group of over four riders, so I received the green light to go. The group was strong, we resisted until the last climb, and my legs were really good as I almost made it to the top of La Asturiana with the best. I wanted to take the most out of this day up front, so I went for the KOM points and here I am second in the standings, tied with Schachmann. I am very motivated and this jersey could become a goal, in any case I will not exclude it in the days to come."

Stage 2 :
1.Alex Aranburu 
2.Omar Fraile +0:15
3.Tadej Pogacar
31.Odd Christian Eiking +0:54
33.Lorenzo Rota +1:05
37.Quinten Hermans +1:21
72.Maurits Lammertink +3:23
121.Georg Zimmermann +1:59
123.Théo Delacroix +2:01
163.Alexander Evans +3:08

Provisional GC :
1.Primoz Roglic
2.Alex Aranburu +0:05
3.Brandon McNulty +0:06
36.Odd Christian Eiking +2:13
41.Quinten Hermans +2:27
45.Lorenzo Rota +2:43
70.Maurits Lammertink +4:39
121.Georg Zimmermann +1:59
123.Théo Delacroix +2:01
163.Alexander Evans +3:08