Pologne (st. 6) / Burgos (st. 4)
Ion Izagirre to fight for Tour de Pologne overall success in Saturday's decisive, 25km TT in Krákow after courageous effort in Queen stage
Leaving the best of his abilities on the road, Ion Izagirre rode carefully and fearless during the Queen stage of the 2015 Tour de Pologne -174km in and around Bukovina, with no less than twelve climbs, eight of then categorized- to keep his chances well alive before the TT showdown -25km in Kraków on Saturday-, where he will start as sixth, 14" behind Sergio Henao (SKY). The Colombian crowned attacking tactics from the British squad to take over the leader's jersey, tied with Ulissi (LAM).
Bearing every single move into a high-pace favourites' group during the final 15km, and even taking the front of it himself for the last 1.5km, Henao having taken off for the win prior, the Basque allrounder finished 8th in the day and will take on the final challenge again -two consecutive runner-up finished in Pologne- with time deficits only on the lead duo, as well as 4" to former leader Bart De Clercq (LTS) and 3" behind Davide Formolo (TCG).
Ben Hermans (BMC), TT specialist and tied with Izagirre; Aru (AST), 3" behind the Spaniard; Riblon (ALM), 5" down on the Ormaiztegi-based rider; Nieve (SKY), 8" down; and Zakarin (KAT), winner in Romandie via the final time trial and 13" behind Izagirre, complete an exciting overall top-ten before the last day of racing.
Burgos: Fine overall performance in Valle del Sol climb
Without leaving the mountains, the Movistar Team also fought for success on stage four of the Vuelta a España, a 165km journey from Belorado to the Valle del Sol summit in Pineda de la Sierra. Despite the riders directed by Chente García Acosta trying to make things harder to control for Astana -with some brief echelons provoked by Sutherland, Soler and Visconti, later caught-, the turquoise squad dominated the ascent and led out Colombian Miguel Ángel Lopez towards the overall lead.
The Blues -four of them making the decisive, 18-man selection, including Visconi (13th)- fought to keep the front until the final 500 meters, where López’s acceleration alongside Moreno (KAT, 2nd) and Scarponi (AST, 4th) did not leave them any more chances. Eventually, Jesús Herrada was sixth in both the stage and the GC standings (+33”) as Rubén Fernández -7th- now sits in eighth, 38” back, with Winner Anacona a place further down at 44”.
Saturday will bring the Spanish stagerace to a close with a traditional mountain trek towards the Lagunas de Neila, including seven rated climbs in its 170km course.