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Benefiting from strength in numbers, Izagirre takes a big win in the Basque one-day race Klasika Ordizia, beating Luis-Leon Sanchez and his teammates Herrada and Anton in a 4-rider sprint

Photo: Sirotti










25.07.2014 @ 18:05 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Gorka Izagirre took his first win since joining Movistar at the start of the season when he won today’s Klasika Ordizia in his native Basque Country. Hitting the finishing straight as part of a 4-rider group that included two of his teammates, he beat Luis-Leon Sanchez (Caja Rural) and his teammate Jose Herrada in the sprint to make it a great day for Movistar.


Gorka Izagirre has a very special feeling for the hard Basque one-day race Klasika Ordizia. Going into the 2014 edition of the race, two of his three professional victories have been taken in the summer classic as he won both the race in both 2010 and 2012.


Today he repeated that feat when he finished off an impressive and dominant performance by his Movistar team. Having controlled the race all day, the team managed to place no less than 3 riders in the 4-rider group that would sprint for the win.


However, Movistar was up against Luis-Leon Sanchez who on paper was the fastest rider in the group. Nonetheless, Izagirre managed to beat his compatriot, benefiting from strong support from his teammates Jose Herrada and Igor Anton who finished third and fourth respectively.


The race was held on a 170km course around the city of Ordizia. The first part consisted of four laps of a circuit that included the Alto de Abaltzisketa and ended with a modified circuit that again included the main climb but also featured the steep Gaintza climb just 6km from the finish. From there it was a fast descent and a flat stretch to the finish.


The riders took the start in very rainy conditions and right from the start, three riders escaped. Alvaro Robredo (Burgos), Mikel Aristi (Euskadi) and Alberto Torres (Ecuador) started to build an advantage while Movistar set the pace in the peloton.


While Aristi scored lots of KOM points and Robredo took the sprint points, the gap reached a maximum of 6.55 after 19km of racing. Movistar brought it down to 5 minutes before they tried to make Jose Ivan Gutierrez bridge the gap.


The Spaniard gave up and fell back to the peloton which was not again more than 6 minutes behind. However, Movistar started to ride a lot harder and on the second passage of the climb, a 20-rider group got clear as the peloton split.


Movistar and Caja Rural tried to keep the 45-second advantage over the second group and the fast pace brought the gap to the escapees down to just 1.55. At the 80km mark, however, things came back together.


Robredo fell off the pace in the breakaway while Jonathan Castroviejo, Dayer Quintana (both Movistar), Oma Fraile (Caja Rural), Carlos Barbero (Euskadi), Diego Ochoa (Androni) and Ricardo Garcia (Burgos) set off in pursuit on the climb. They passed Robredo and at the 102km mark, they made the junction.


The peloton was now 1.35 behind and Aristi was suffering a lot in the front group. He fell off once before getting dropped for good but it didn’t matter too much as the break was brought back at the 118km mark.


On the climb, Castroviejo, Ruben Fernandez (Caja Rural), Jerome Coppel (Cofidis), Bernardo Suaza (4-72), Julien Antomarchi (La Pomme), and Jordi Simon (Ecuador) got clear but they were brought back on the descent. Instead, Herrada, Marcos Garcia (Caja Rural), Guillaume Levarlet (Cofidis), Fernando Orjuela (4-72) and Gregoire Tarride (La Pomme) took off.


They managed to build a 1-minute advantage with 28km to go but as they passed the 20km to go banner, they were only 35 seconds ahead. Orjuela was dropped the final time up the climb while Herrada attacked on his own.


Garcia managed to rejoin him briefly but the Caja Rural rider again fell off the pace. Instead, he was caught by Sanchez and Javier Moreno (Movistar) who had attacked from the peloton.


With 15km to go, the trio was 30 seconds behind while the peloton was at 45 seconds. Sanchez pressed on on his own while Moreno and Garcia were both caught.


After the Gaintza wall, Sanchez bridged the gap to Herrada but further behind, Anton and Izagirre had attacked. The paur made the junction just 2km from the line and the race would be deiced in a sprint finish from the 4-rider group. Here Izagirre beat Sanchez and Herrada while Anton and Dayer Quintana made it 5 Movistar riders in the top 5.


The race was the first in the Basque triptych that continues on Thursday with the Circuito Getxo and reaches its climax next Saturday with the WorldTour race Clasica San Sebastian.



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