Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Izagirre goes for broke in Andalucía finale

Just like he did at the recently-concluded Tour of the Med, Ion Izagirre put it all on the line in Wednesday's concluding Vuelta a Andalucía stage, trying to salvage a low-key race for his team.

The youngest of the Izagirres got into a dangerous-looking break on the last day in the French race and was in contention for springing a big surprise before eventually falling short. On today's hilly 182,7km ride from Lucena to Rincon de la Victoria, he did the same and got much closer.

After watching team-mate Mikel Landa dynamiting the field but blowing up on the last climb moments earlier, Izagirre got into the right move and crested the summit 14 clicks from the line along with seven others.

A few other riders bridged the gap on the descent, meaning 12 riders made it to the line together. Wary of the threat posed by Valverde in a sprint finale, the native of Ormaiztegi jumped under the two-kilometres-to-go banner. It wouldn't stick, though, and the Movistar leader duly went on to take both stage and general classification spoils.

Izagirre eventually came in 10th, while Igor Antón and Mikel Nieve ensured the team a good final performance by placing 14th and 15 respectively at only ten seconds.

Nieve's consistency throughout the race netted him a 12th on GC, while Izagirre and Antón followed close by in 15th and 17th.

Speaking on his way to the Malaga airport, Izagirre told the team's website that "the legs felt good today. I was in the fight for the win and I'm pleased with that.

"I wasn't as strong as I had hoped on the first stage - I didn't feel good and ceded time. But today I struck back and wind up the race feeling happy, though I'm aware I have to keep improving and strive for better results".

Results (full results here):
  • (1, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), 4:45:28)
  • 10, Ion Izagirre, s.t.
  • 14, Igor Antón, 0:10
  • 15, Mikel Nieve, s.t.
  • 19, Mikel Landa, 1:39
  • 37, Gorka Verdugo, 3:07
  • 65, Ioannis Tamouridis, 12:14
  • 79, Juan José Lobato, s.t.
Final general classification:
  • (1, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), 13:47:27)
  • 12, Mikel Nieve, 0:53
  • 15, Ion Izagirre, 1:45
  • 17, Igor Antón, 2:20
  • 23, Mikel Landa, 3:46
  • 40, Gorka Verdugo, 13:08
  • 64, Ioannis Tamouridis, 24:19
  • 84, Juan José Lobato, 30:25
Photo: Euskaltel Euskadi


Stephen said...

Good to see Lon and Mikel finding their legs, these guys (along with a couple of others) are the future of Basque cycling and I’m sure they will improve as the season progresses.

Colin northern Ireland said...

Its been a slow start to the season so lets hope the team can progress steadily from here and the new riders start to show some form


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