Landa continues to take steps forward, 7th in Arrate

12 April 2019
Landa continues to take steps forward, 7th in Arrate

Vuelta al País Vasco (st. 5)

El alavés de Movistar Team afianza su recuperación y permanece en la 9ª plaza de la general de la Itzulia, que dio un vuelco con la exhibición y triunfo del nuevo líder Buchmann (BOH).

Looking to offer his best level, following last January’s collarbone injury, at a Giro d’Italia where he’s long set his sights on as team leader, Mikel Landa (Movistar Team) continued to show great signs of recovery in the grueling Queen stage of the 2019 Itzulia Basque Country. The 149km stage five route from Arrigorriaga to the prestigious Arrate summit finish, including eight tough ascents -seven rated climbs-, saw a brutal pace developing from the very start and the Murgia native performing well, all circumstances considered, just a step behind the GC favourites and into a good progression.

Landa reacted well to the moves from Enric Mas (DQT) and Jakob Fuglsang (AST) in Arribinieta (Cat-3), 65km before the end, after a series of unsuccessful moves to form the early break, well covered by Rubén Fernández and Antonio Pedrero. The good support from the latter plus José Joaquín Rojas before the last climb, Usartza (Cat-1), helped Mikel always staying with the GC contenders and even seek for some moves from the foot, which dropped back former leader Max Schachmann (BOH).

Fernández in the early moves. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

Ahead of the GC group, another German, Emanuel Buchmann (BOH), painted a masterpiece, full of strength and well planned strategically, by jumping away from one of the late moves in the flat section towards the Trabakua (Cat-3) climb and putting two minutes on the rest at Eibar. Buchmann grabbed the win and the leader’s jersey, with 1’08” over Adam Yates (MTS), Ion Izagirre (AST) and Fuglsang at the finish, while Landa finished in 7th spot (+1’50”).

Mikel remains in 9th overall -2’25” behind Buchmann; 1’21” off the podium- before the Itzulia’s decisive 118km stage six around Eibar, over the ascents of San Miguel (Cat-3), Kalbario (Cat-3), Elkorrieta (Cat-3), Azurki (Cat-1), Karakate (Cat-1) and Asensio (Cat-2).

Landa showed good signs in his preparations for the Giro. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

REACTION / Mikel Landa:

“I’m happy with this result. It was a really tough stage, one where we couldn’t have a break at all and one which should really take its toll on Saturday. Being able to stay with the top contenders after what I’ve been through, I can only feel happy. I don’t think I can ask more from my team-mates today: they were really strong at the start of the stage, always following the moves, and to be honest, at the Usartza climb I wasn’t the strongest, so it didn’t really have much sense to ask for team-mates to also be there. They did all they could and should. Bora has again shown to be one of the strongest lineups here, and in my case, the GC seems pretty much impossible to aim for, so let’s try and give it a good try tomorrow and hopefully contest the stage win.”

Cover picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport

Male Team 08 - 13 Apr

Itzulia Basque Country

(5th Stage) Arrigorriaga - Arrate (149.8 km)
  1. 01 Emanuel Buchmann Bora-Hansgrohe 3h44'14"
  2. 02 Ion Izagirre Astana Pro Team +1'08"
  3. 03 Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott "
  4. 07 Mikel Landa Movistar Team +1'50"
  5. 27 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar Team +8'53"
  6. 32 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team +15'20"
  7. 59 Winner Anacona Movistar Team +20'58"
  8. 60 Carlos Verona Movistar Team "
  9. 65 Rubén Fernández Movistar Team "
  10. 96 Carlos Betancur Movistar Team "
See prov general ranking
  1. 01 Emanuel Buchmann Bora-Hansgrohe 16h23'30"
  2. 02 Ion Izagirre Astana Pro Team +54"
  3. 03 Max Schachmann Bora-Hansgrohe +1'04"
  4. 09 Mikel Landa Movistar Team +2'25"
  5. 24 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar Team +11'28"
  6. 26 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team +20'03"
  7. 29 Rubén Fernández Movistar Team +22'07"
  8. 34 Carlos Betancur Movistar Team +22'33"
  9. 46 Winner Anacona Movistar Team +25'22"
  10. 47 Carlos Verona Movistar Team +25'32"
See stage ranking