GP Miguel Indurain
Ion Izagirre (2rd) Beñat Intxausti (3rd) escort winner Vicioso in GP Miguel Indurain podium as Movistar Team keeps control and leads attacks until decisive climb of El Puy. Alejandro Valverde finishes in 5th place
Only the highest step of the podium escaped to Movistar Team domination in the 2015 GP Miguel Indurain, the only race of the pro cycling calendar in the Blues' home region of Navarra, over 193km full of climbs including a hilltop finish in the Basílica de Santa María del Puy. Ángel Vicioso (KAT) beat Ion Izagirre (2nd) and Beñat Intxausti (3rd) after restless work from the riders directed by José Luis Arrieta and José Jaimerena.
Winner Anacona and Javi Moreno held all responsibility to control the day's early break of six riders, which all the way until the final 50km, where they were caught through the slopes of Guirguillano (Cat-1). The high pace by the telephone squad turned into attacks through Lezaun's ascent, with Izagirre and Intxausti entering an 11-man move which the Spanish road race champion tried to shrink with strong pacing into the Eraul hill.
Beñat and Ion reached the top of the latter climb together with Vicioso and Colombia's Janier Acevedo (TCG), a quartet becoming a duo as Intxausti and Vicioso attacked in Muru, Izagirre later bridging. Despite Ion led Beñat out, the power of their rival into the sprint of El Puy was too much for the two. Meanwhile, 2014 winner Alejandro Valverde, who jumped from the bunch in Muru but eventually couldn't make it to the front, claimed the 5th place.
Ion Izagirre (2nd): "Vicioso was the smartest guy today. We may have thought we could to better, through we knew Vicioso was fast into such a finish, and it's possible that we played sort of a 'lead-out' for him in the end. We controlled the whole race and we kept the squad calm with the move by the two of us into that break. Beñat told me he was riding strong today and asked me to help him out in the finale, so I set a fast pace in Eraul to try and break the escape, since we were a lot of people at front. Beñat made the attacks, so when I caught them back, I gave all from the foot of El Puy so I could prepare his final attack, but Vicioso was also stronger than us and we couldn't go more. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Still, I'm happy with the good legs we showed here – even though it's sad not to be able to win, the País Vasco roster looks strong and we're eager to do some big things next week."
Beñat Intxausti (3rd): "It's always sad, not to be able to crown a huge work and also in such a race, next to our service course, but to be honest, it really seems like it's harder for us to achieve the victory here! We worked a lot all day – I think we raced well from a tactical point of view, controlling the bunch from the start, launching those attacks in Lezaun with Ion and myself, some quality riders to keep the group calm behind, and even creating a two-against-one with Vicioso. We talked to each other and Ion told me he was having a bit of cramping; honestly, I was feeling pretty strong, yet Vicioso was better than us and we couldn't beat him. I'm still happy and can't wait to get to Monday."