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With a strong attack on the penultimate climb, Madrazo made a solo move and after being joined by Izagirre and Txurruka he won the 3-rider sprint to triumph in Klasika Ordizia; Izagirre and Txurruka completed the podium

Photo: Movistar










25.07.2015 @ 14:41 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Angel Madrazo (Caja Rural) got the second half of his season off to a flying start when he won the Basque one-day race Klasika Ordizia with a very aggressive performance. Insisting in an earlier attack on the final climb, he was joined by his teammate Amets Txurruka and Ion Izagirre (Movistar) and the trio managed to keep the chasers at bay to decide the race in a sprint where he relegated the Movistar rider to second.


Last year Angel Madrazo had a disastrous spring season. Suffering from allergy, he was far from his usual pace and his Caja Rural team decided not to select him for the Vuelta a Espana. However, he bounced back with a fantastic second half of the season and was impressively strong in the Italian classics at the end of the season.


That situation made him change his approach for 2015. Instead of chasing success in the sprint, he had a relatively easy first part of the year and aims to be at his best in the second part.


That strategy seems to pay off as he won his first race after a mid-season break. The Caja Rural rider came out on top in the Klasika Ordizia which kicks off a week of one-day racing in the Basque Country that culminates with the Clasica San Sebastian next Saturday,


The victory came after a very aggressive showing on the finishing circuit which included two tough climbs inside the final 20km. He made his first move before they hit the first ascent but both he and Damien Howson (Orica-GreenEDGE) were brought back before they got to the summit.


However, he refused to give up and tried again. He hit the bottom of the final climb with 8km to go with an advantage of just 8 seconds.


Impressively, he managed to hang onto Ion Izagirre and Amets Txurruka who attacked out of the peloton and those three riders managed to keep the a 5-rider chase group at bay after a frantic chase. Supported by his teammate Txurruka, he came out on top in the sprint, with Izagirre taking second. Cameron Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE) attacked out of the chase group to take fourth while his teammate Ivan Santaromita won the sprint for fifth.


The series of one-day races continues on Friday when the riders will tackle the Circuito Getxo. One day later it all culminates with the WorldTour race Clasica San Sebastian.


A hilly course

The 92nd Prueba Villafranca-Ordiiako Klasika was held on a 170km course around the city of Ordizia. First the riders did four laps of a 33.2km circuit with the climb of Alto de Baltzisketa before they tackled a modified and longer finishing circuit that included the same climb and the ascent of Zaldibia Gaintza which was 3km long and averaged more than 15% for the final 2km. From the top of the final climb, only 6.2km remained and they were almost all downhill.


It was a cloudy day in the Basque country when the riders gathered for the start in Ordizia. Two riders were not present: Davide Vigano (Idea) and Jose Luis Roldan (Keith Mobel).


The break is formed

As expected the race got off to a very fast start with lots of attacks and it took some time for the early break to be formed. The elastic snapped after 12km of aggressive racing when Marc Soler (Movistar), Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEDGE), Miguel Angel Benito (Cara Rural), Adrien Petit (Cofidis), Kiril Pozdnyakov (Rusvelo), Juan Carlos Riutort (Burgos), Eneko Lizarralde (Murias Taldea), Rafael Silva (Efapel) and Joaquin Sobrino (Inteja) got clear.


Despite having Soler in the break, Movustar took control of the peloton but they allowed the gap to grow slowly. At the 18km mark, the gap was 1.20 as they hit the first climb. Here Sobrino was dropped and it was Lizarralde who led Keukeleire and Silva over the top, 1.35 ahead of Sobrino and 3.15 ahead of the peloton.


The gap stabilizes

Lizarralde beat Petit and Keukeleire in the first sprint at the 27km mark when the gap had gone out to 3.35. When Riutort beat Silva and Keukeleire in the sprint at the end of the first lap, it was 3.50. Moments later Sobrino was brought back.


Movistar started to control the situation by slowly bringing the gap down. As they hit the climb for the second time, it was only 3.05. At the top Lizarralde led Petit and Silva across the line. Moments later, Riutort beat Lizarralde and Pozdnyakov


Movistar accelerate

Riutourt led Petit and Benito across the line for the second time when the gap had been brought down to 3 minutes. At the top of the climb, it was 2.40 and it was Lizzaralde who scored maximum points, followed by Silva and Riutort.


Movistar now accelerated hard and when Lizarralde beat Riutort and Silva in the next sprint, the gap was only 1.40. Riutort led Silva and Pozdnyakov across the finish line as they started the final lap of the circuit.


Soler takes off

The gap briefly went up to 2.50 before it stabilized at 1.40 and when they hit the climb, it was only 1.25. This was the time for Movistar to accelerate hard and this prompted Soler and Petit to attack.


Soler dropped Petit and was first at the top, followed by Keukeleire and Lizarralde. The Belgian joined the Spaniard on the descent and the duo entered the final 47km with an advantage of 45 seconds.


The break is caught

When Soler beat Keukeleire in the sprint 2km later, they were only 25 seconds ahead of the peloton which was led by Imanol Estevez (Murias Taldea). Keukeleire led Soler over the finish line to start the finishing circuit but Anthony Turgis (Cofidis) was hot on their heels at the front of the peloton.


With 35km to go, the break was caught and this opened the door for new attacks. A seven-rider break got clear and Petit and Pozdnyakov were again part of the action. They were joined by Enrique Sanz (Movistar), Magnus Cort (Orica-GreenEDGE), Fabricio Ferrari (Caja Rural), Arnau Sole (Burgos) and Egoitz Garcia (Murias Taldea) as they entered the final 30km.


Madrazo takes off

Cort, Garcia and Ferrari dropped their companions and had an advantage of 20 seconds with 25km to go. They hit the Abaltzisketa climb with a 25-second advantage as rain started to fall.


The trio was brought back halfway up the climb and instead Cort’s teammate Damien Howson attacked. He was joined by Madrazo but the duo was quickly brought back.


Madrazo tries again

Madrazo refused to give up and so tried again. He crested the summit as the lone leader, followed by Jesus Herrada (Movistar) and Howson.


Those three riders joined forces on the descent and entered the final 10km with a gap of 20 seconds. As they hit the final climb, it had been brought back to 15 seconds.


A trio is formed

With 8km to go, the break was nearly caught but Madrazo refused to give up. He dropped his rival and was joined by his teammate Amets Txurruka (Caja Rural) and Ion Izagirre (Movistar).


Txurruka led Izagirre and Madrazo over the top while Benat Intxausti (Movistar) was first from the peloton. On the descent, Sergey Firsanov (Rusvelo), David Belda (Burgos) and Luca Capelli (Idea) took off in pursuit and were later joined by the Orica-GreenEDGE duo of Santaromita and Meyer.


From there it was a big pursuit but the trio managed to hold off their chasers and it was Madrazo wo won the sprint while Meyer escaped to take fourt.



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