Mischa Bredewold, the European Champion on SD Worx-Protime, once again dazzled the peloton with a spectacular victory on stage 2 of Itzulia Women, held over a 101-kilometre course from Basauri. This stage saw Bredewold emerge victorious from a thrilling three-rider breakaway, further asserting her dominance in this year’s race.

The day’s racing was slightly shorter than planned due to route modifications which eliminated the unclassified climbs initially included in the final part of the course. Despite this, the stage still posed significant challenges, including two major climbs where Valentina Cavallar of Arkéa-B&B Hotels made a decisive move to retain her lead in the mountain classification by winning the first two sprints.

The pivotal moment came on the Urruztigaina climb, with Niamh Fisher-Black of SD Worx-Protime setting a blistering pace before teammate Demi Vollering attacked near the summit, briefly going clear. However, Élise Chabbey of Canyon SRAM and Marlen Reusser of SD Worx-Protime bridged up to Vollering, forming a leading trio that briefly threatened to go all the way.

The dynamic of the race changed when a chase group of five caught up, swelling the lead group to eight. But with cooperation faltering amongst the leaders, the main peloton, energised by concerted chasing, absorbed the breakaway 16 kilometres from the finish.

The race then saw a flurry of attacks, with Juliette Labous of DSM-Firmenich PostNL making a decisive move 12 kilometres out. Mavi García of Liv-AlUla-Jayco and Mischa Bredewold successfully joined Labous, with the trio working effectively to carve out a significant gap.

In a nail-biting finish, Bredewold executed a perfect sprint from García’s wheel to clinch the stage by a narrow margin, marking her second consecutive victory in this year’s edition. García finished a close second, with Labous rounding out the podium in third place.

After her win, an elated Bredewold shared her thoughts: “This is really unexpected and crazy. Once you’re in a good flow, you’re in, and I guess that’s true. I didn’t expect this today. The team was so good and super attentive, and we all make each other calm because we’re always there. Blanka [Vas] and Marie [Schreiber] did amazing work.”

Reflecting on the strategy that led to her victory, Bredewold added, “The cooperation was really good, and they are really strong climbers, so I knew that I had to be careful, so I gambled a bit. The gap was really small in the end, we have to discuss it. Again, I want to race openly, and if the other girls see a chance, it’s nice for them to do something. I am feeling really good, that’s nice.”

With this win, Bredewold extends her lead in the general classification, setting her up as the rider to beat with only one stage remaining.

2024 Itzulia Women Stage 2 result

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

Photo credits: Getty