4.04.2016

Itzulia 1: In The Beautiful Euskal Herria

Euskal Herria, the Baque country is so beautiful I want to go visting it and Izulia would be the best excuse. Sadly it's held in the wrong period for me, as I'm normally busy at school. In add it's usually rainy.
Today the sun shines and there are eight climbs on the menu. Four riders already excaped, they are Brambilla, Wyss, Lastra and Edet - a quality break - and after 60 km their advantage is about 2'.
Brambilla gets dropped. Wyss, Edet and Lastra  have 1'30" on the peloton led by Orica-GE and Tinkoff.
50 km to go and there we go: it's raining!
35 km to go a crash brings down several riders but they look fine. They have to chase though and a five riders formed, including also Trek's Zubeldia. Not the best moment for that as the race is approaching the toughest climb of the day: Alto de Ixua 6.2km at 7%..
32 km to go Edet and Lastra have 32" while Wyss is back in the peloton.
30 km to go Cataldo attacks, jumps to the break and keeps goins, Edet on his wheel, while Lastra is immediately dropped. Petilli and Madarzo follow, others join and a selected group forms, but their gap is slight. In front Cataldo is going solo.
Montaguti, Kelderman, Vilella and Mate finally emerged from the peloton and are chasing. But Cataldo topped the climb and  is rocking the descent: his advantage is quickly increasing. 18 km to go gap is 34 to a compact peloton.
Four riders get off the front: Chernetski, Vanendert, Deignan and Rolland. The last climb is coming. The move is neutralised. 11.5 km to go Cataldo has 12". That looks few.
8 km to go Cataldo is caught.
Navarro attacks, Contador goes on conter and brings away a small group. Descent. LL Sanchez joins Navarro. 3.5 km to go the gap is just 5". Last km! They are away. Almost caught on the line BUT they launch their own sprint. And LL Sanchez takes a close victory.
WOW!

Luis Leon Sanchez:
“It was a great emotion to cross the finish line in first position at this beautiful race! I knew this final downhill and I thought there could be the space to do an action, then when the bunch reached my team mate Dario Cataldo, who did a great attack as well, I staied in the front positions waiting for the perfect moment to attack. In the final it hasn’t been easy at all and, when I was with Navarro, I saw the bunch getting closer to us so I pushed so hard on the pedals once at 1 km to go, then I pushed stronger to do the final sprint and this was enough to give me this great victory. I know that now I’m the leader in the GC but the captain of the Astana Pro Team in this race is Fabio Aru and I’ll be more than happy to help him to do good."

Alberto Contador:
“I felt in quite good shape, the squad was also good today and supported me at all times. We had the stage more or less always under control. I'm happy overall with the day and now the most important thing is to avoid getting a cold and recover as tomorrow we have an important day.”


RESULTS
STAGE
1 LL Sanchez
2 Navarro
3 Gerrans
4 Felline
5 Clarke
6 Bakelants
7 Martin
8 Barguil
9 Gallopin
10 Chernetski
GC
1 LL Sanchez
2 Navarro
3 Gerrans
4 Felline
5 Clarke
6 Bakelants
7 Martin
8 Barguil
9 Gallopin
10 Chernetski

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