Sunday, April 29, 2012

Izagirre takes maiden win - and it's a time trial!

Jon Izagirre showed everyone what a future star he is in the making with a convincing afternoon time trial win in the Vuelta a Asturias today. It was the youngest of the Izagirre brother's very first professional win, and propels him up to second overall with only tomorrow's queen-stage left.

The native of Ormaiztegi secured Euskaltel its fifth triumph of the year by beating former Euskaltel star, and winner of this exact stage in orange colours two years back, Beñat Intxausti by six seconds over 14 kilometres. Overnight leader Alejandro Marque, who's strength is the crono, finished a solid seventh to hold on to his overall lead by 17 seconds over the Euskaltel man - but has got his work cut out if he wants to keep hold of his leader's jersey in tomorrow's finale against the better climber that is Izagirre.

Speaking to the team's website after claiming the somewhat surprising win, the affable 23-year-old didn't hide his ambitions looking towards tomorrow's decider.

"I'm very pleased with this win - it's my first as a pro, so it's special. Speaking of the general, we've got four riders in the top ten. We have to be ambitious and go for the victory. Sure we'll celebrate the win, but we've got bigger goals to fight for tomorrow".

Izagirre's reasoning seems reasonable: after a strong all-round performance today, Txurruka is fifth overall, Urtasun ninth and Bilbao tenth. It's really all in their hands, but they'll face stiff competition from Movistar. Intxausti is third, David López sixth and the in-form Javier Moreno is eighth. The stage is set for quite the showdown on the ramps of the Alto de Naranco tomorrow.

Movistar's all-round ability shone through earlier today as Jesús Herrada took an impressive solo win in the 93km morning stage. Herrada formed part of the main break and managed to hold off the peloton, but every Euskaltel rider made it in with the pack to keep their options for tomorrow open.

Speaking of the time trial itself, Izagirre drew on past experience to good effect he revealed.

"I knew the course from when I competed here with Orbea two years back. My DS in the car gave me references throughout, and my legs felt great. I'm preparing for the Giro and knew I was going well, but on the other hand I hadn't competed since Paris-Roubaix, and then you never really know where you're at. And, of course, it's always tough to win, so I'm most pleased."

Stage 2A results, Teverga-Avilés 92,9 km (Orbea riders in cursive):
  • (1, Jesús Herrada (Movistar), 2:03:10
  • 12, Pierre Cazaux, 0:12
  • 16, Pablo Urtasun, s.t.
  • 17, Adrián Sáez, 0:15
  • 18, Victor Cabedo, s.t.
  • 21, Jon Izagirre, s.t.
  • 22, Peio Bilbao, s.t.
  • 32, Amets Txurruka, s.t.
  • 41, Aritz Etxebarria, s.t.
  • 42, Miguel Minguez, s.t.
  • 59, Illart Zuazubiskar, s.t.
  • 78, Haritz Orbe, s.t.
  • 80, Mikel Bizkarra, s.t.
  • 81, Omar Fraile, s.t.
  • 82, Igor Merino, s.t.
  • 95, Xabier Zabalo, 0:36
  • 100, Aritz Bagües, 0:41
Stage 2B results, Piedras Blancas 14 km (Orbea riders in cursive)
  • 1, Jon Izagirre, 18:11
  • 11, Amets Txurruka, 0:28
  • 21, Illart Zuazubiskar, 0:42
  • 22, Igor Merino, 0:45
  • 24, Peio Bilbao, s.t.
  • 26, Omar Fraile, 0:47
  • 29, Pablo Urtasun, 0:53
  • 46, Miguel Minguez, 1:10
  • 47, Adrián Sáez, 1:11
  • 64, Pierre Cazaux, 1:32
  • 66, Mikel Bizkarra, 1:34
  • 75, Xabier Zabalo, 1:47
  • 92, Haritz Orbe, 2:16
  • 104, Aritz Bagües, 2:33
  • 108, Aritz Etxebarria, 2:47
  • 116, Victor Cabedo, 4:12
Cabedo later took to Twitter to explain he punctured after five kilometres and had to keep on riding with the flat tyre for another six kilometres before being able to change bikes. No wonder he finished last.

General classification (Orbea riders in cursive):
  • (1, Alejandro Marque (Carmin-Prio), 6:25:09
  • 2, Jon Izagirre, 0:17
  • 5, Amets Txurruka, 0:45
  • 9, Pablo Urtasun, 1:01 
  • 10, Peio Bilbao, 1:02
  • 20, Miguel Minguez, 1:27
  • 26, Igor Merino, 1:59
  • 31, Adrián Sáez, 2:25
  • 35, Pierre Cazaux, 2:43
  • 45, Omar Fraile, 4:07
  • 47, Victor Cabedo, 4:29
  • 53, Mikel Bizkarra, 4:54
  • 71, Xabier Zabalo, 8:12
  • 80, Haritz Orbe, 10:47
  • 93, Illart Zuazubiskar, 14:09
  • 104, Aritz Etxebarria, 16:15
  • 105, Aritz Bagües, 16:27
For full results, click here

It's a fact: Jon Izagirre becomes only the fourth rider (after Samuel Sánchez, Beñat Intxausti and Jonathan Castroviejo) to win an individual time trial for Euskaltel since 2006. 



Stephen said...


The lads have been getting closer and closer but I don't think a TT win was what we expected....fingers crossed for a strong show today and even better news to come.

Vegard said...

Magnus, do you have any information what's going on with Nieve? He has barely raced anything this year and is supposed to be the team leader in the Giro. Haven't heard any news about him either, so I'm a bit worried..

Kristof said...

If you saw Landa in Romandië yesterday you know they have two really top talents in their team, so let's hope the team can stay together. Too bad Cstro and Intxausti riding for movistar now.

Kristof said...

Izagirre crashes hard and is taken to hospital. Bad lucks keeps following Euskaltel. Hoping it's not too serious but if he's taken to hospital this means no Giro.

Magnus said...

Vegard: He's been struggling and has admitted he's not in top shape for the Giro. I'll try to get a hold of him and find out what's up.

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