Gorka Izagirre's third place in Wednesday's Paris-Nice stage propelled him to a healthy fifth overall. With only four days to go, the oldest of the Izagirre brothers revealed he'll fight to hang on to his top ten on general classification.
"I felt good today on the first stage on the Massif Central", he told the team's website. "Tomorrow's stage and the last one are the hardest, so we'll see how the legs respond then. Right now I'm fifth overall - and I'm very happy with that!".
The 25-year-old finished an impressive seventh in the season's first WorldTour race, the Tour Down Under, and will look to score more points for his team for the rest of the week.
"It's a really high level of racing at every WorldTour event, so it's hard both to finish high up on GC and to win", he said. "But we'll fight to achieve a good overall result".
The Ormaiztegi-native was beaten to the line on Wednesday by promising American Andrew Talansky and Italian Davide Malacarne, and said post-race that the pace on the run-in left him a tad drained for the final sprint.
"We went up the last climb really fast and I crested the top at the head of the pack", he commented. "The descent was a bit dangerous, the roads were wet... The peloton split up and seven of us got a gap. The understanding among us was good enough to let us play it out for the stage win, and the general classification favourites didn't catch us. We went full gas, and when it came to the sprint I was a bit tired", he concluded.