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Itzulia Basque Country 2024, April 1-6

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Ion Izagirre was 9th in this race. That was his 20th top 10 in one of the seven big one-week stage races.

He is now tied with Quintana as the current pro with most top 10's in GC of those races AND with the 9th spot, he completed his set so he is now the only current pro who has occupied all different spots in the top 10 of one of the seven major one-week stage races.

Romain Bardet is closest to accomplishing that feat, but unfortunately for him, 1st place is the one missing from his set... (which is obvious since no Frenchman has won one of these races since 2007).
Finally managed to watch some bike racing.
And how rewarding. What a thriller of a stage!

And yet again no crashed - my thesis "watching vs. non-crash race" now adding pattern to be transcending in time - fate knew in advance that I surprisingly would have the opportunity to watch final stage this evening anyway.
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Tbh Rodriguez should have gifted it to Ayuso. Ayuso only needed 4 seconds on skjelmose and got that easily on his own. Rodriguez needed 50 seconds so he should have been motivated to tt as hard as possible, plus gift the stage to Ayuso in return for the latter's help.

Hindsight 20/20 I guess.
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The two best guys on the day came in together. Rodriguez got the win (which should boost his confidence) and Ayuso the GC so both went home happy. UAE seemed to work as a team, which does not always happen so good for them too.
Obviosly this Itzulia edition will be remembered for those who did not finish, but maybe some good will come from that. Shorter stages and trying to keep the GC guys within seconds of each other, results in a super stressed peloton where no one wants to be near the back for the fear of missing out. Add in bonus seconds sprints, which might decide the GC and it's a reciepe for disaster.
Longer harder stages with all the bonus seconds at the finish (first 5 guys over the line maybe) would help.
Haven’t seen much this Itzulia. How was Bagioli? Wanna see him in his Lombardia form for the upcoming hilly classics, especially Liege.
Usually Skjelmose's second-to-last man, but not really very impressive. That might be a good thing though, because he has never had good form for more than five days straight, so if he was great now he'd be a definite bust for the Ardennes.
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