Astana’s Izagirre takes beautiful win in Vuelta a España Stage 6
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM - On a very cold rainy day in the Pyrenees Ion Izagirre took a beautiful victory atop the famous climb Aramón Formigal. The Astana Pro Team rider made a strong attack from the breakaway group with some 3 km to go, taking a good gap enough to take his debut stage win at the Vuelta a España. By winning today’s stage Ion Izagirre became the 100th rider in cycling history, who won the stages of all three Grand tours!, Kazinform has learnt from the club’s press service.
«It was a very tough stage. We knew that bad weather will hit the stage and that at the whole second part will be really wet and cold. We are in the Pyrenees and here the rain always brings the cold. But we were ready for that. From the start I was able to go in a breakaway together with Gorka and it was a good moment for us. Thanks to attack of Gorka I just stayed on the wheel in our chasing group, saving some energy for the final,» said Ion Izagirre.
«I attacked on the steepest part and shortly opened a gap. I looked back and saw that nobody really followed me, so I continued pushing hard until the finish. It was a tough way to the top with raining all the time, but I managed to stay in front and to win this stage! I want to thank my team for the work done today and of course I want to thank my brother Gorka, who was phenomenal! Gorka was really strong and on the descent he did a powerful attack. I think, he could win today. But, when our group caught him back I knew that it was my turn to attack. Gorka provided me with good help on the climb and with 3 km to go I found a moment and just went away. This victory means a lot for me and I am happy to bring it to Astana Pro Team. After my crash at the Tour de France I was able to recover well, the team was always next to me during this time and I am happy that I came here at the Vuelta a España. I want to thank also all our sponsors, especially Samruk-Kazyna for a great support during this super difficult season,» added Ion Izagirre.
After the French part of today’s stage has been cancelled due to COVID-19 alert, the organizers have changed the route. Thus, after start in Biescas, the peloton covered 146.4 km to the top of the first category climb Aramón Formigal. A group of 23 riders went away shortly after start with Ion and Gorka Izagirre among the escapers. The group worked well together and on the bottom of the second climb of the day Puerto de Cotefablo the break took over 4 minutes of advantage. Gorka Izagirre made an attack on the descent from this climb and was able to stay alone in front until the last 6 km, when the chasing group caught him back. With 3 km to go it was Ion Izagirre, who attacked, and this move brought him stage 6victory.
«After we missed a chance yesterday, we were motivated to try again and to fight for a stage victory today. It was our plan to have two riders in the break and when Ion and Gorka went away together we realized that this could be our day. They worked really well in the group and in a moment it became clear that the break will stay away until the end. Both, Ion and Gorka did an excellent race, they both deserved the victory, but in the end of the day it was Ion, who realized his chance. It is a very beautiful victory on a very difficult day. This success brings us some additional motivation for the next two weeks and for sure, we will keep on fighting,» said Dmitriy Fofonov, sports manager of Astana Pro Team.
Behind the breakaway, there was a big battle among the GC contenders. A few riders attacked from the group of the red jersey, opening a good gap. Finally, the Ecuadorian rider Richard Carapaz, who finished 12th today, 55 seconds behind Ion Izagirre, became the new overall leader, taking the red jersey from Primoz Roglic.
Astana’s Aleksandr Vlasov suffered a lot from the cold and finished 28th, 2 minutes behind stage winner. In the general classification Vlasov, however, moved up to 20th position, +6.34 behind the new race leader.
Gorka Izagirre after a good race in the break and a 9th place at the finish, moved up to 12th place in the general classification (+3.19).
Tomorrow at the Vuelta a España will be held the first rest day.