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The Basque rider still fought bravely and was able to limit losses, crossing the finish line only 44" behind Froome, 26" after Costa - who got an additional four seconds as third over the line.

Photo: ANSA / DAL ZENNARO - ZENNARO - PERI

BEÑAT INTXAUSTI

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14.06.2015 @ 22:20 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

There was a bittersweet taste for the Movistar Team at the end of the 2015 Critérium du Dauphiné, which Chris Froome (SKY) conquered with a second, consecutive stage win in Modane Valfrejus. Despite having five riders in the top 25 in the overall classification and comfortably winning the teams' ranking in the process, the squad directed by José Luis Arrieta and José Luis Laguía was held off on the doors of the stage wins - one third place, two 4th spots - and, above all, the final podium, with Beñat Intxausti struggling in a stage where he had to defend a 25-second margin over fourth-placed Rui Costa (LAM).

 

Gorka Izagirre's presence in the break for the second day in a row and two moves - one climbing, the other downhill - by a courageous Alejandro Valverde on the penultimate ascent of Saint-André contrasted with Intxausti's lack of the strength that he had found in the days prior, dropping back with 4.5km to go. The Basque rider still fought bravely and was able to limit losses, crossing the finish line only 44" behind Froome, 26" after Costa - who got an additional four seconds as third over the line.

 

He ends his effort in 4th spot, 1'21" behind the winner and only 5" from third, while Valverde - who strengthens his lead in the 2015 UCI WorldTour, in front of absent pursuers Alberto Contador (TCS) and Richie Porte (SKY) - took ninth, 3'12" back. The Movistar Team keeps fighting in the world ranking and is now less than 100 points away from the leaders (784, with Sky at 872), yet still in the same fourth place they had before Dauphiné.

 

The day's most negative note came as José Herrada had to abandon the race early, fortunately with no big physical consequences. The Spaniard suffered a crash in the feed zone together with Manuel Quinziato (BMC) and suffered a blow to his hip that forced him to withdraw, though the Mota del Cuervo-based rider didn't have any serious injuries.

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