Ion Izagirre moved into the overall lead in the Tour of Poland on Thursday's fifth stage.
The prodigious 24-year-old attacked on the way up the final climb only four clicks out, knowing full well that there was a ten second bonus to the first man across the top. While the stage win eluded him as Thor Hushovd romped to his second stage win of the race, Izagirre moved from fifth to first on GC, now leading home hero Rafal Majka by one tiny second going into the race's last two days. Third, at five seconds, is Sky's diminutive Colombian Sergio Henao.
"Having done the Tour is helping me now", he said after the podium ceremony. "I finished that race in good shape, and the rhythm of competition I got there is paying off in Poland. I wouldn't have been in yellow now if I was tired.
"I'm pleased with what I've achieved and I'm enjoying it, but I'm also thinking about tomorrow's stage. A lot of things are going through my head. The sixth stage is the hardest one - controlling it will be very hard. We'll see how the legs respond and how the race evolves, but it's no denying it'll be the most taxing day".
Up on Friday is a very hilly stage that should suit Izagirre as well as most of the GC contenders to a tee, while the race concludes on Saturday with a medium-length ITT.
Izagirre used Monday's rest day to recce the course.
"It's a time trial with two differing parts", he says. "The first part is hilly and really tough, while the second is really fast".
- (1, Thor Hushovd (BMC), 3:54:40)
- 13, Ion Izagirre, s.t.
- 40, Miguel Mínguez, 0:14
- 72, Adrián Sáez, 3:46
- 84, Ricardo Mestre, 5:46
- 85, Garikoitz Bravo, s.t.
- 94, Robert Vrecer, 8:44
- 1, Ion Izagirre, 25:49:41
- 49, Robert Vrecer, 27:43
- 50, Adrián Sáez, 28:55
- 80, Garikoitz Bravo, 48:55
- 82, Miguel Mínguez, 51:23
- 98, Ricardo Mestre, 1:02:50