Remco Evenepoel and Mikel Landa team up for one of the hardest and most beautiful events of the season.

Itzulia Basque Country is one of the World Tour stage races where our team has tasted success on many occasions in the past, winning eleven stages and three distinctive jerseys; the most recent of these was brought home by Remco Evenepoel, who topped the youth classification at his only presence there, back in 2022.

The Belgian Champion, who so far this season has won four races, will return at the start together with Mikel Landa. The experienced Basque, who finished runner-up last year at his home race, comes at the start of the 63rd edition after a solid outing in Volta a Catalunya, where he racked up three podiums on his way to second overall. Rounding out the seven-man Soudal Quick-Step team for Itzulia Basque Country will be Gil Gelders, James Knox, William Junior Lecerf, Pieter Serry and Louis Vervaeke.

“I’m looking forward to returning to racing in the Basque Country. It’s a beautiful area that I’ve enjoyed racing in, in both Itzulia and Clasica San Sebastian, and as always it will be a very challenging parcours against a strong field. I’m especially looking forward to racing with Mikel in his home region, knowing that the local fans are so knowledgeable and passionate about cycling”, said Remco ahead of his third stage race of the season.

The race gets underway on Monday, from Irun, with a hilly 10km individual time trial finishing on a steep 10% ramp, and continues with five hard stages comprising more than twenty classified climbs. By far, the most difficult of these will be the sixth and last stage, held around Eibar, where seven ascents – including the gruelling Krabelin (5km, 9.6%) – crammed in just 138 kilometers can turn the race on its head and even change the yellow jersey wearer.

“We have a very strong line-up for next week’s race, with Remco and Mikel, together with a couple of young guys but also some experienced helpers, so the feeling is good going into the race. Itzulia is a tough event, one of the hardest of the season, and you need to pay attention the whole time and be at your best level to fight for a top result. We are ready to give our all as we aim for the best possible GC result next Saturday”, added Soudal Quick-Step sports director Klaas Lodewyck.


Photo credit: ©Wout Beel

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