Big week of Basque cycling kicks off
Spaniard joins Edu Prades into decisive 20-man split including race winner Hivert (TDE); Itzulia resumes intense days in the mountains on Monday.
Jonathan Hivert (TDE) took advantage from his raw skill for short efforts to leave all race favourites behind and win the 2019 GP Miguel Indurain, a 193km course around Estella (Navarra) which paid a tribute to Eusebio Unzué’s Abarca Sports organisation in the Blues’ 40th consecutive year of activity.
The Telefónica-backed squad tried to pay the organisers back for their recognition and lightened the race from afar, launching several attacks into a very tough last 70km with a half dozen climbs. At the Alto de Guirguillano, Andrey Amador and Carlos Verona accelerated to take the baton from Carlos Betancur, who had led the bunch from the start in search for the morning break. As the two were caught, Nairo Quintana tried a long-range move, and later on, at the Alto de Lezaun with 40km to go, a decisive front split of 20 riders gave leading responsibility to Verona and a very courageous Edu Prades.
As the Catalan was dropped from the favourites’ group at the Alto de Eraul, Mikel Nieve (MTS) leading the pace, an in-form Verona stayed focused and calm against further moves from Rubén Plaza (ICA) and Tadej Pogacar (UAD). Hivert’s explosive move at the decisive Alto de Ibarra, though, was too much for Carlos, already at his limit and eventually 5th over the line into the pursuit group’s sprint -behind Luis León Sánchez (AST, 2º), Sergio Higuita (EUK, 3º) and Nieve (4º)-. The Madrilian still left a very good impression before joining the ‘Itzulia’ roster for Monday’s start of the Vuelta al País Vasco.
Cover picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team
- 01 Jonathan Hivert Direct Energie 4h47'56"
- 02 Luis León Sánchez Astana Pro Team +9"
- 03 Sergio Higuita Fundación Euskadi "
- 05 Carlos Verona Movistar Team "
- 15 Edu Prades Movistar Team +1'29"
- 35 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar Team +12'47"
- 42 Nairo Quintana Movistar Team "
- 76 Carlos Betancur Movistar Team +13'33"
- — Mikel Landa Movistar Team DNF
- — Andrey Amador Movistar Team DNF