Simon Spilak made it the perfect day for Katusha by taking the GP Miguel Indurain on Saturday thus following up on Rüdiger Selig’s win earlier at the Volta Limburg Classic.
In the hilly terrain he broke clear with 11 other riders early on and as that group disintegrated with some 100 km to go, Spilak was one in a trio who took to the front. With 40 km he discharged his two fellow breakaway companions and soloed to what must surely be regarded as the most prestigious win of his career.
Starting and finishing in the Basque town of Estella, the race is 181 km long and has a short but steep uphill finish on the Basilica del Puy.
Barely 30 km into the race 12 riders managed to escape the clutches of the peloton: Simon Spilak, Beñat Intxausti (Movistar), Javier Moreno (Movistar), Mikel Landa (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Rohan Dennis (Garmin Sharp), Cristiano Salerno (Cannondale), Karol Domagalski (Caja Rural), Wilson Marentes (Colombia), Igor Merino (Euskadi), Jesse Anthony (Team Optum p/b Benefit Strategies), Juan Chamorro (4-72 Colombia) and Ever Rivera (4-72 Colombia).
With 100 km to go the front group was split as Intxausti, Dennis and Spilak broke free and built up a 2 minute lead over the next 50 km.
10 km later Spilak went alone and that was the last Intxausti and Dennis would see of him. They were swallowed up by the chasing peloton on the penultimate climb of the race.
Nobody would catch Spilak who claimed a well-deserved win leaving the spoils to Igor Anton and Daniel Stetina who rounded up the podium of the day.
1 Simon Spilak - Katusha 4.50.46
2 Igor Anton - Euskaltel-Euskadi 1.32”
3 Daniel Stetina - Garmin Sharp 1.34”
4 Alejandro Valverde - Movistar 1.49”
5 Giampaolo Caruso – Katusha
6 Roman Kreuziger - Saxo-Tinkoff 1.54”
7 Danail Petrov - Caja Rural
8 Alberto Losada - Katusha
9 Daniele Ratto - Cannondale 1.57”
10 Angel Vicioso - Katusha 1.58”
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