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Intxausti shows his class again with a perfectly-timed attacked on the Mentougou climb to become Tour of Beijing GC leader.

Photo: Movistar Team






14.10.2013 @ 12:53 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

The Basque rider had already made it into an early escape of four riders alongside team-mate Iván Gutiérrez, but following a two-second bonus gained into the first intermediate sprint, he dropped back and let Gutiérrez act as a lookout. The attack was caught at the foot of the last climb.


The first move from the Intxausti’s Portuguese team-mate, world road champion Rui Costa, came with 3km remaining and was swiftly reeled back, but the move did allow a moment of hesitation and Intxausti took advantage to jump ahead and build a gap big enough to see off the final charge from Dan Martin (GRS).


"To be honest, we didn't have a plan to attack from the start and take the bonus seconds, but there was a pretty long downhill in the beginning, we got into a break and Iván Gutiérrez worked his heart out for me so I could notch up those two seconds for the overall standings,” Intxausti explained on the Movistar website.


“I felt quite well yesterday on the climbs and knew that both Rui [world champion Rui Costa] and I could be battling for the stage win today. The final climb was fast, but the pace fell a bit with 2km left, so I jumped. I saw López coming from behind but not being able to catch me, and also Daniel Martin in the finale. I was giving everything I had from the moment I attacked, but could still hang on and even raise my arms to enjoy the win.”


Intxausti also explained that the win brought him joy because his second part of the season has been less illustrious than the first. As for his chances of defending his ten seconds lead over Dan Martin, Intxausti said it would be difficult but that he took confidence from the strength of his Movistar team.


"It's a really important win for me, because I couldn't make such a great second part of the season as the first one with the Giro. I didn't feel really well in the Vuelta, and despite working well for the team, it didn’t really show my real level. The last days of the Vuelta were the best for me, and that kept me focused to train and take care of myself in the weeks leading up to this race. It might seem like an easy day tomorrow, but the nerves will be up with bonus seconds up for grabs and we will have to stay attentive. Fortunately, I have a strong team at my side, and it will be easier with them to hopefully keep the jersey and get onto the final podium at the end of the day."



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