Vuelta al País Vasco (finale)
Basque climber from Movistar Team suffers ill-timed mechanical at Azurki climb, attacks near the finish to complete first WorldTour stagerace in 2019 within overall top-ten.
It was an overall victory full of prestige, and in front of his home crowd, for Ion Izagirre (AST) at the 2019 Itzulia Basque Country, whose final stage -118km in and around Eibar, with six rated climbs and plenty of tough hills in the heart of the region- saw yet another GC turned upside down in arguably the toughest one-week stagerace of the UCI WorldTour.
The bunch was torn into pieces at the climb of Azurki (Cat-1), 65km before the end, as a one-two punch from Izagirre and team-mate Jakob Fuglsang (AST) left behind yellow jersey carrier Emanuel Buchmann (BOH), with a five-man group eventually running away for success with Tadej Pogacar, Dan Martin (UAD) and stage winner Adam Yates (MTS).
In turn, behind the leaders, Mikel Landa (Movistar Team) was affected by an ill-timed mechanical incident -where he was quickly assisted by José Joaquín Rojas, who lent him his bike, and later the team mechanics, with a new machine of his own measure- and dropped back to Buchmann’s group, which accumulated a 2′ deficit before Carlos Verona -present in the early breaks alongside Rojas and Rubén Fernández- pushed to recuce the gap.
Landa, who tried a move into the last little climb into the streets of Eibar, was 7th at the finish -1’24” behind Yates- and an identical seventh in the final GC, just under three minutes back from Izagirre. A decent toehold in his preparations for the Giro d’Italia, which starts in a month’s time (May 11th) with a tough ITT in Bologna.
Cover picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport
- 01 Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott 2h59'46"
- 02 Dan Martin UAE Team Emirates +1"
- 03 Jakob Fuglsang Astana Pro Team "
- 07 Mikel Landa Movistar Team +1'24"
- 33 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar Team +8'47"
- 41 Carlos Verona Movistar Team +8'55"
- — Winner Anacona Movistar Team DNF
- — Rubén Fernández Movistar Team DNF
- — Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team DNF
- — Carlos Betancur Movistar Team DNF