- The Bora Hansgrohe rider was the fastest during the sprint in Leitza
The second stage of the Itzulia 2023, between Viana and Leitza, is the longest this year at 193.8km. The stage started with a very early breakaway with 6 riders: Javier Romo (AST, 46), Jesus Ezquerra (BBH, 185), Carlos Garcia (EKP, 206), Txomin Juaristi (EUS, 216), Alan Jousseaume (TEN, 225) and, the mountain jersey, Jon Barrenetxea (CJR, 194).
The peloton let the breakaway go, which achieved a margin of 6 minutes and 50 seconds. The Ineos Grenadier team led the main group and Movistar positioned a rider to control the distance.
As the kilometres went by Jon Barrenetxea (CJR, 194) was the first to reach the top of the passes at Etxauri, Uitzi and the first pass through Arkiskil. The Caja Rural – Seguros RGA rider was thereby assured the mountain jersey for another day.
Ineos Grenadier accelerated the pace to close the gap, the yellow jersey held on to the group but lost contact during one of the final climbs. With a gap of one minute between the breakaway and the peloton, Mikel Landa (TBV, 141) attacked on the climb to Saldías and managed to join them. The distance remained at 45″ for several kilometres.
Ineos Grenadier, EF Education-Easypost and Movistar Team reduced the gap in the final kilometres. In the intermediate sprint in Doneztebe, Mikel Landa scored points that will help him in the fight for the overall classification. The Bahrain Victorious rider’s attempt fell apart with 18 kilometres to go and just when Lilian Calmejane (IWC, 102) and then Abel Balderstone (CJR, 193) gave it a go with a strong change of pace gaining a few seconds. With 4 kilometres to go David de la Cruz (AST, 43) jumped from the peloton and caught the breakaway. Before the last descent of the day, the peloton had neutralised the escapees. Everything would be decided in the final sprint
Ide Schelling (BOH, 56) raised his arms and took victory in Leitza. After some very nervous kilometres, everything was decided in the last few metres. With this victory, he becomes the new leader of the race.
Standings after Stage 2
Stage winner: Ide Schelling (BOH, 56)
Overall individual ranking: Ide Schelling (BOH, 56)
Mountain classification: Jon Barrenetxea (CJR, 194)
Overall points classification: Alex Aranburu (MOV, 123)
Overall ranking best young rider: Ide Schelling (BOH, 56)
Overall team classification: Movistar Team
Overall ranking best Basque rider: Mikel Landa (TBV, 141)
Most combative: Javier Romo (AST, 46)