Tour de Pologne (st. 5)
Basque allrounder back to fore in WorldTour racing, jumps onto 5th overall in Poland after staying into front group in first mountainous stage -9th place in Zakopane-
Already a sour runner-up in the Prueba Villafranca classic raced in front of his home crowds in Ordizia on July 25th, Ion Izagirre (Movistar Team) is leaving behind the misfortune suffered during the 2015 Giro. The Basque has proven to be ready for everything in the 72nd Tour de Pologne, where Belgian Bart de Clercq (LTS) has taken yellow after the longest stage in the race (223km) finished with a demanding circuit in Zakopane, on the Tatr mountains.
Izagirre, supported in the finale by Fran Ventoso and Eros Capecchi, resisted all attacks into the favourites' group, reduced to just over thirty riders through the last passage over the line -almost 60km before the end- and only 12 after the last ascent of the climbs towards Zab and Gubalówka. A well-timed attack from De Clercq with 3km remaining avoided the field sprint, with Ulissi (LAM) and Reichenbach (IAM) finishing 3" behind the Belgian while Izagirre took ninth, 7" back.
The new GC, now reduced to the 12 men on the front in its fight for victory, sees Izagirre jumping onto fifth spot, 9" down, with only De Clercq, Ulissi (+4") and Formolo (TCG, +6") putting time on him while timetriallists like Christophe Riblon (ALM) or Ilnur Zakarin (KAT, both +17") stay behind. But before reaching the 25km TT showdown in Kraków, the Ormaiztegi-born rider will have to give everything he's got into the Queen stage: 174km in around Bukovina, with eight rated climbs and four non-categorized ascents of the finishing slope in the thermal baths city.