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"This win is the proof that we have worked well, done our homework, and in good form going into the Itzulia. Nairo is also in great shape. He has just won the Volta. I'm feeling good too."

Photo: Movistar






















02.04.2016 @ 22:50 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Ion Izagirre (Movistar) proved that he is ready for one of his biggest goals of the season by riding to an impressive victory in the hilly Spanish one-day race, GP Miguel Indurain. Having joined a strong 11-rider group that escaped after the hardest climb, he found himself with just Sergio Henao (Sky) for company in the uphill sprint and managed to hold off the Colombian. Moreno Moser (Cannondale) was the best of the rest and finished third.


We have gathered a few reactions.


Ion Izagirre: This proves that I am ready for the Vuelta al Pais Vsco

Ion Izagirre took a prestigious victory today in the town of Estella, deep in the region of Navarre, where Eusebio Unzué's professional cycling team was created almost four decades ago. Around him, the Movistar Team showcased its strength in depth. Directed by José Luis Arrieta, the team helped Ion Izagirre to a superb win in the GP Miguel Indurain – 191km, with a series of testing climbs in the second half of its parcours –  with every member of the telefónicos giving his best for success.


Carlos Betancur, Marc Soler and Jesús Herrada controled an early 14-man breakaway that was formed after a furious first hour of racing, that saw almost 49 km covered. They never allowed the gap to stretch beyond four minutes. Next, Nairo Quintana ripped the peloton to pieces on the Category 1 Alto de Guirguillano. Then, on the descent from the Guirguillano nearly 60km from the finish, Gorka Izagirre, Giovanni Visconti and Izagirre himself made it into the decisive, 12-rider split, covered from behind by a vigilant Dani Moreno.


The leading group shattered when Visconti attacked on the Cat-2 Alto de Eraul. Only Sergio Henao (SKY) could follow the move, but Izagirre followed on the Colombian’s wheel. Visconti and Izagirre took turns to attack Henao, tiring him before the final climb. On the Puy, Henao could not match Izagirre’s speed. It is his fifth success as pro cyclist – all of them prestigious wins: a stage in the Giro, the Tour de Poland overall, the Spanish national road race championships, a time trial in the Tour of Asturias – and it is the Movistar Team’s sixth win so far in 2016. Going into next week’s Vuelta al País Vasco, the team is looking strong. Izagirre dedicated his win to Adriano Malori, who was on the finish line today.


“It was sensational, incredible,” he said. “Winning is hard, and even more so here at home. It became even trickier early on when the group of 14 got away and we didn't have a rider in it. The team reacted superbly. I'd put the win down to teamwork: everyone played their part. Soler and Betancur pushed from the very start; Nairo worked on the Gurguillano climb, and ‘Txutxi’ (Jesús Herrada) did his bit. The whole group rode brilliantly.


“In the end, there was a split with three Sky riders and three of us. Gorka left it all out on the road to protect the gap and Visco tried to surprise everyone with a move at the foot of Eraul. When Henao jumped across, I knew I had to stick on his wheel. That final spate of attacks left me with Henao, and I knew his explosive acceleration is perfect for that sort of finish, so I was a wary of his attacks. I saved energy for the end, and jumped after the final right turn, trying to give everything that my legs had left… and it was good enough to take the win.


"This win is the proof that we have worked well, done our homework, and in good form going into the Itzulia. Nairo is also in great shape. He has just won the Volta. I'm feeling good too, and, apart from the two of us, we have a great team, so let's hope it goes well for us.”


Sergio Henao comes up short in uphill sprint at GP Miguel Indurain

Sergio Henao rode to a strong second place following an exciting finish at the Gran Premio Miguel Indurain.


The Colombian benefitted from an impressive team performance in the Spanish one-day event, finding himself in a duel with Jon Izagirre heading onto the final climb.


The Movistar man led Henao into the finale and hit out with 200 metres to go, giving his counterpart no chance to overhaul him on the steep, twisty ascent. Moreno Moser (Cannondale) rounded out the podium 14 seconds later.


Henao had faced the unenviable task of trying to shut down a pair of Movistar men late on, with Izagirre and Giovanni Visconti attacking repeatedly in a bit to work him over.


Strong legs led to a podium finish, which was helped by unwavering work from his fellow Team Sky riders. A powerful acceleration from Vasil Kiryienka led the peloton over the Alto Guirguillano, splitting the peloton with a group of 11 riders going clear.


That move contained Sergio and cousin Sebastian Henao, who helped drive the pace alongside Kiryienka, even battling back after being briefly dropped on the undulating run-in.


It was the team's first appearance in the 191km event and Xabier Zandio wasted little time in hitting out - the architect of a breakaway that eventually swelled to 13 riders.


Under pressure from Movistar that advantage was hauled back inside 70km to go, setting the scene for Kiryienka and a group that eventually put in excess of two minutes over the peloton.


Sergio Henao pushed hard on the Alto Eraul to put himself in the position for the win, while Sebastian crossed the line in 12th place as the next Team Sky rider home.

Moreno Moser back on track with third place at GP Miguel Indurain

After several years of disappointments, Moreno Moser (Cannondale) bounced back with a solid third place.


“Good result in #GpIndurain , took the 3dr place and feeling good sensation! Thanks to all,” he tweeted.


Pello Bilbao ready for Pais Vasco after great Caja Rural performance at GP Miguel Indurain

It was a great performance for Caja Rura. Pello Bilbao finished 6th, while Hugh Carhty (8th) and Fabricio Ferrari (9th) made sure the team had no less than three riders in top10.

Pello Bilbao said: “Team Sky and Movistar controlled the race. We played our cards the best way possible. At the end, it was clear to see that Izagirre and Henao were the strongest riders. I tried to get on the podium, but it didn’t happen. However, I’m very satisfied with my performance and how I have progressed in the last couple of weeks”.


Manager Eugenio Goikoetxea said: "The balance is very good. We had Pello Bilbao among the riders who decided the race, which was very good. We have also had a presence in the breakaway with Benito and Madrazo, and we could put another two riders, Carthy and Ferrari ,in the top ten, so we're very happy.”


Frustrating day for Adam Yates at GP Miguel Indurain

Adam Yates finished in 15th place at the GP Miguel Indurain today despite a spirited attempt to bridge across to the leaders with 30kilometres remaining.


After starting the day with Mathew Hayman in the early breakaway, the frustration began for ORICA-GreenEDGE when they got caught the wrong side of the split from which the winning move was made. Realising the attack could develop, Michael Matthews began to pull at the head of the peloton alongside Chris Juul Jensen andAmets Txurruka.


Although the advantage initially began to come down, the chase was ultimately in vain as Jon Izagirre (Movistar) broke clear from the reduced breakaway to take the win.


Sports director Dave Mcpartland lamented the missed oppurtuntiy after good early work by the team.


“We started the race really well, Mathew (Hayman) got into the first breakaway which meant we could leave leave the early work for the other teams,” said McPartland.


“It was surprising how quickly the race came back together and when the next attack happened we were unfortunately caught out of position. We rallied our efforts to try and get back on but it wasn’t to be.”


“Of course its frustrating,” continued McPartland. “We came into the race looking to get a result but it wasn’t our day.


“We need to move on now and concentrate on tomorrow’s race, after all, we saw some positives today. Cheung (King-Lok) performed solidly in his first race at this level and Mathew (Hayman) seems to have made a good recovery after his fracture.”


ONE Pro Cycling wins mountains competition at GP Miguel Indurain

Karol Domagalski impressed at GP Miguel Indurain winning the overall KOM Classification.


Pete Williams was in the first break of the day, straight out of the blocks but it was short lived as the peloton weren’t keen on letting it go. No sooner had Williams arrived back in the peloton that another break went away. On his toes the Yorkshire rider managed to get himself back into the break with two others creating a nice little gap on the peloton. Not wanting to be left behind, Karol Domagalski nipped off the front of the peloton with 9 other riders in a small chase group. Working together they bridged the gap to the leaders forming a solid breakaway of 13 with all major teams represented apart from Movistar.


Feeling under threat, Movistar moved to the front of the peloton and took over the chase but failed to close the gap on the break. Meanwhile Karol Domagalski was in fine form, impressing spectators taking the first King of the Mountains classification. Once again, Movistar dug deep and this time it paid off, catching the break as it approached the first Category 1 climb and the 2nd KOM of the day. The pace set on the ascent split the bunch to pieces. Pete Willams having worked hard in the break for over 120km settled into the peloton. Meanwhile Karol Domagalski with one KOM win under his belt was eyeing the overall title and feeling strong, broke off the front of the peloton with 7 riders from Sky, Katusha and Movistar .


Once again the peloton started to split under the pressure and during an injection of pace James Oram came down in a crash. Getting back on his bike, the Kiwi rider made his way back into the peloton just as a chase group was about to leave the front of the bunch. With George Harper and Dion Smith close behind, they joined a small bunch of 30 riders as they attempted to bridge the gap in the closing stages of the race. Managing to stay away in the break until the final KOM, Domagalski wanted to ensure his hard work and effort wouldn’t be in vain. Sprinting against his WorldTour rivals he won the 3rd and final KOM claiming the overall KOM Classification competition. Following his effort Karol Domagalski was dropped from the break with 35km to go, shortly after George Harper having worked hard for Dion Smith was also dropped on the same climb and both rejoined the peloton as the remainder of the break and main chase group fought on.


With 25km to go, a lull in the chase group saw riders sit up and stop chasing. Domagalski joined Oram at the front of the peloton and went to work chasing the break at full gas, but they were unsuccessful. Acting on the plan for the day, Domagalski and Oram delivered Smith to the front of the main peloton. Smith surged forward in a lone effort riding hard over the last km of the climb to cover some moves. 10km to go he dropped into the finish but with the finish line waiting on a steep 1km long ascent he had to pace himself for the final sprint. The break uncaught passed the finish line, Smith in a bunch of approximately 40 riders sprinted in 4th in his group finishing 16th overall. Karol Domagalski won the overall KOM classification while Pete Williams finished 2nd in the Special Sprint Competition.


Tomorrow the team will line up on the start line at Vuelta Ciclista a la Rioja.


Novo Nordisk captain back in the mix at GP Miguel Indurain

Team Novo Nordisk took on the hilly 192-kilometer Gran Premio Miguel Indurain in northern Spain on Saturday.


Fast racing began straight from the start as a break of 14 riders pulled away early. Team Novo Nordisk was eager to get into break but were thwarted by the tough race profile.


Team Novo Nordisk’s Javier Megias, who is still recovering from a cracked wrist, remained with the main group until the last climb and finished best for the squad at 22nd. 


“The race course was hard,” Megias said, “and the race was really fast all day, never letting up. I had lot of pain in my wrist, but I tried to my best and deliver a good performance in my home country. I’m looking forward to being fully healed to and keep improving at the upcoming races.”



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