Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Izagirre Brothers ascend the GC on the Corkscrew

Ion and Gorka Izagirre ascended into the top ten of the overall on the 2nd stage of the Santos Tour Down Under after finishing comfortably in the front chase group, a few seconds behind a trio containing stage winner Geraint Thomas (SKY). With the impressive ride by the Euskaltel men, they now occupy 6th (Ion) and 7th (Gorka) on the general classification, 14" down on Thomas. While nothing is decided and with the difficult Wilunga hill stage still to come, it does look good for Euskaltel to take some early World Tour points.

The action started early today with a break of four going up the road containing Will Clarke (Argos-Shimano), Calvin Watson (UniSA), Guillaume Bonnafond (Ag2r) and Christopher Juul-Jensen (Saxo-Tinkoff). After Bonnafond was dropped from the break, the peloton began to dial the pace up, with multiple Euskaltel riders being seen near the front. As the race hit Corkscrew Hill, the break imploded and the pace ramped up. Multiple attacks were launched by riders such as Andrey Amador (Movistar), Matt Lloyd (Lampre-Merida) and most notably, George Bennett (Radioshack-Leopard) before Geraint Thomas launched an impressive attack on some of the steeper stretches of the hill, which topped out at 17%.

Thomas cleared the hill in front but was quickly joined by a trio of chasers, including Bennett, his Radioshack teammate Ben Hermans and Movistar's Javier Moreno. The Radioshack duo kept the pace high as a chasing group that included the Izagirres was closing in. As the race entered the final kilometers, Bennett was dropped from exhaustion but the chasing pack was not able to make the junction. Thomas surprised his companions with an attack from behind, catapulting him to an impressive win while Ion Izagirre came home in 9th place on the stage.

Ion is now 2nd overall in the young rider's classification on the same time as Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco). Euskaltel is also laying 2nd overall in the team classification behind Radioshack-Leopard

Results (Full Results Here)

  • 1, (Geraint Thomas (SKY) 2:44'48")
  • 9, Ion Izagirre +04"
  • 15, Gorka Izagirre s.t.
  • 33, Juan José Oroz +1'09"
  • 42, Garikoitz Bravo +1'18"
  • 88, Mikel Astarloza +5'26"
  • 99, Juan José Lobato +6'19"
  • 122, Jon Aberasturi s.t.
  • 1, (Geraint Thomas (SKY) 6:19'32")
  • 6, Ion Izagirre +14"
  • 7, Gorka Izagirre s.t.
  • 31, Juan José Oroz +1'19"
  • 40, Garikoitz Bravo +1'28"
  • 81, Mikel Astarloza +5'36"
  • 88, Juan José Lobato +6'29"
  • 95, Jon Aberasturi s.t.
Photo: Iñaki Azanza


Remo said...

That's a wonderful result ! I've got lot of faith in the Izagirre's brothers ! Gorka can really become the new Samu Sanchez (good climber, decent in chrono and excellent "discesista" ! And Ion is sharp and brave !

Colin millar said...

Well done lads a lot of hard work ahead so good luck

azanca02 said...

If they can both stay in the top 10 on GC before Willunga hill than they can play the cards write and get a stage win.


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