Paul Lapeira sprints to victory in chaotic finale to stage 2 of Itzulia Basque Country 2024

After a chaotic final few kilometres, Paul Lapeira has sprinted to victory on stage of the 2024 Itzulia Basque Country from a reduced bunch.

With there some debate among analysts as to whether this stage was for the breakaway or the sprinters, five attackers attempted to try their luck out front, including Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies) and Jetse Bol (Burgos - BH).

BORA - hansgrohe were fulfilling their role at the front of the peloton as the team of the race leader, but decided to keep the break on a relatively slack leash, around 3:30 for most of the day.

Although BORA began to get some help at the front and the pace started to rise, the breakaway (now down to just 4), were managing to keep the 3:00 gap at 50km to go.

Despite the best efforts of the break though, they couldn't hold off the peloton forever and with 13km to go, their day out front had been brought to an end.

With a bonus second intermediate sprint to go before the finale, GC teams were coming to the fore. In the end, it was really tight between, Remco Evenepoel, Mattias Skjelmose, Isaac del Toro and Juan Ayuso, with del Toro the one to take maximum bonifications.

Just before the safety of the 3km to go marker, Tao Geoghegan Hart hit the deck, more than likely putting an end to his GC hopes. That crash actually caused a split in the peloton as the entered the finale, with some notable names being caught out.

In the sprint for the line, it was Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale Team's Paul Lapeira who took the win ahead of Samuele Battistella and Louis Vervaecke in third.

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