Gorka Izagirre finished on the podium in Wednesday's third stage of Paris-Nice.
The ever-aggressive all-rounder was just pipped to the line by Garmin-Sharp's Andrew Talansky and edged out for second by Europcar's Davide Malacarne at the end of a lumpy 171 kilometres from Chatel-Guyon to Brioude to grab his top result of 2013.
Watch the last kilometres below:
A septet broke clear on the descent off of the last climb of the day, the cat.2 Cote de Mauvagnat, and just about held off the charging peloton to steal precious seconds in the battle for the general classification. Thanks to his third place, Izagirre is now a solid fifth overall - just five seconds down on the winner of the stage and new overall leader, American Talansky.
Coming round on outside on the the right, Izagirre looked to be in contention for the win up until 50 metres were left to ride. Unfortunately for him and his team, there was no beating the Garmin rider, and thus the search for that elusive first victory of 2013 continues.
A group containing most of the pre-race favourites came in seven seconds back, but none of the Euskaltel riders managed to stay with that group. Ion Izagirre ended up ceding a damaging 1:05, while Mikel Nieve and Rubén Pérez both came in 1:22 in arrears.
Results (full results here):
- (1, Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp), 4:06:15)
- 3, Gorka Izagirre, s.t.
- 41, Ion Izagirre, 1:05
- 58, Mikel Nieve, 1:22
- 60, Rubén Pérez, s.t.
- 75, Mikel Astarloza, 2:58
- 109, Gorka Verdugo, s.t.
- 111, Romain Sicard, s.t.
- (1, Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp), 14:39:36)
- 5, Gorka Izagirre, 0:05
- 41, Ion Izagirre, 1:19
- 47, Rubén Pérez, 1:29
- 54, Mikel Nieve, 1:44
- 110, Mikel Astarloza, 5:05
- 121, Gorka Verdugo, 5:42
- 151, Romain Sicard, 11:36