Victory of ION IZAGIRRE in the last stage of the Tour of the BASQUE COUNTRY

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Victory of ION IZAGIRRE in the last stage of the Tour of the BASQUE COUNTRY
Published on 2022-04-11 09:25:10
Updated on 2022-04-11 09:25:59

After a remarkable stage in which he gave up nothing, Ion Izagirre won for the first time in the colors of Cofidis. The Spaniard, who finished 2nd overall, 11 seconds behind the winner, Daniel Felipe Martinez, thus offering Cofidis its 8th victory of the season and its first in the UCI world tour circuit in 2022.

He had time to raise his right arm and clench his fist, a sign of overwhelming enthusiasm and resilience at every turn. Ion Izagirre crossed the line first, this Saturday afternoon in Arrate. The day's stage, 137.5 km long from Eibar will have been epic all the way with seven passes to climb in the Basque mountains.

A breathtaking finale

Hostilities began with about 40 kilometers to go. The thrilling finale was littered with attacks, and Ion Izagirre was one of the most active at the front. On the last climb, there were only a handful of strong riders left at the front, including overall winner Daniel Felipe Martinez, Jonas Vingegaard, Marc Soler and Alexandr Vlasov. Next to them, Ion Izagirre. The Basque rider held on despite a crash with 4 km to go. He immediately got back on his bike and made a great effort to catch the frontrunners. In a breathtaking final, he managed to get the better of Alexandr Vlasov and Marc Soler. Having joined Cofidis in the off-season, Ion has always considered the Tour of the Basque Country, the region where he grew up, as an important goal. He won it in 2019 and had a stage last year. So the Spaniard repeated the feat under his new colors, which allows him to take 2nd place overall, just 11 seconds behind leader Daniel Felipe Martinez.


Guillaume Martin wins the Tour de l'Ain

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At the start of this 2nd stage of the 34th edition of the Tour de l'Ain, 142.5 km were on the program. 4 difficulties were listed including 2 passage up the Col de Portes and a finish after a final descent to Lagnieu. The Cofidis team had already worked the day before during the sprint to protect Guillaume Martin, allowing him to arrive in the peloton and thus not lose time on the favorites. A revenge on bad luck It was a small breakaway that formed early in the stage. It was quickly controlled so that the favorites could play for victory and the overall classification. At the briefing, the plan was precise : Start riding and displaying their ambitions on the 3rd climb of the day, the Côte de Seillonnaz to put Guillaume Martin in orbit. Around him, Ruben Fernandez, François Bidard and then Rémy Rochas (victim of a fall without gravity during the 1st stage) did not count their efforts to support their leader. In the last kilometer, Guillaume Martin produced his effort in turn. His acceleration is decisive: the Norman can raise his arms, finally, as an illustration of the collective strength of the team. Everyone knows that the taste of victory is rare in cycling, making victory even more beautiful. Guillaume Martin had not won since the Mercan'Tour Classic last year, and now has 8 professional successes to his credit. This moment of joy is also a revenge on bad luck, a few weeks after his hasty departure from the Tour de France due to a positive test for Covid-19. Now, the team will work hard, again, to defend its leader's jersey and give Cofidis another stage race victory this season. They said Guillaume Martin: "I'm obviously very happy to have been able to...

A stage on the GIRO for Thomas De Gendt

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Thomas De Gendt adds another memorable victory to his list. In the eighth stage of the Giro, with departure and arrival in Naples, De Gendt, with his teammates Harm Vanhoucke and Sylvain Moniquet, was part of a breakaway of more than twenty riders. On a difficult circuit around Monte Procida, the early breakaway gradually thinned out and after some tactical play five riders broke away, including teammates De Gendt and Vanhoucke. The five riders never got much ahead of the first pursuers and in the last kilometers, the Van der Poel - Girmay duo almost came back. It was finally Vanhoucke who started the sprint for De Gendt to finish the job. This is his second stage victory in the Giro, ten years after his first on the legendary ascent of the Stelvio. "Today I really had a great day and with three teammates in the breakaway we were able to play a bit," said De Gendt afterwards. "We played perfectly. Due to illness and bad luck, I haven't been able to achieve the performances I wanted in recent years and that's why this win feels maybe even more special than the one on the Stelvio." "I even doubted that I would come to the start of this Giro in good shape. But this victory proves that I am back. This stage reminded me of Barcelona's stage during the Volta a Catalunya. The succession of climbs where it's hard to recover suits me well, so I rode at a tight pace the whole time to really give no one a break." "I know I'm fast after a stage like this, I still felt strong and I bet on the sprint. Harm played the team game perfectly in the last kilometers with Van der Poel and Girmay who were really getting closer. Three hundred meters from the finish, I gave it my all and that...


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