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High stakes all around: Why the 2024 Itzulia Basque Country matters to Vingegaard, Roglic and Evenepoel

EIBAR, SPAIN - APRIL 08: Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark and Team Jumbo – Visma - Yellow Leader Jersey celebrates at finish line as race winner during the 62nd Itzulia Basque Country, Stage 6 a 137.8km stage from Eibar to Eibar / #UCIWT / on April 08, 2023 in Eibar, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Three years ago in the Itzulia Basque Country and with less than two hours left to race on the final stage, all eyes were on Primož Roglič when the Slovenian launched a blistering and successful long-distance attack that finally netted him a second overall victory.

One of the most enthralling days in recent Itzulia-Basque race history, Roglič’s spectacular defeat of Tadej Pogačar, Brandon McNulty and a previously-dominant UAE Team Emirates had all the feel of a sporting revenge for a rather bigger last-minute loss, that of the Tour de France in 2020, to his fellow Slovenian. But when the dust settled on Itzulia 2021, with the benefit of hindsight, there was another highly significant thread to that race’s narrative for Jumbo-Visma.

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