Ion Izagirre (Movistar) took an impressive victory today 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.
The crucial move was made when Movistar made the race hard on the Alto Guiguillano, the hardest climb of the day which came with 70km to go. Nairo Quintana did a lot of damage on the front while also bringing the early break back. The Colombian drifted backwards when the attacking started near the top, with Hugh Carthy (Caja Rural) and Karol Domagalski (ONE) all being active.
The peloton splintered under the pressure and as they approached the summit, Izagirre was always near the front. He was quick to react when Sebastian Henao (Sky) took off with Carthy on his wheel.
Henao and Carthy were brought back and instead another Sky rider gave it a go. Vasil Kiryienka was next to try and he created the decisive 11-rider group. Both Henaos were there for Sky while the Izagirres and Visconti had made the move for Movistar. Katusha had Sergey Chernetskii and Egor Silin while Moreno Moser (Cannondale), Pello Bilbao (Caja Rural) and Domagalski (ONE) were without teammates. Kiryienka led Domagalski, Gorka Izagirre, Bilbao, Moser, Henao and Ion Izagirre over the top.
The gap stabilized at around 1.10 until the balance briefly seemed to tip. With 35km to go, the gap was suddenly down to 45 seconds but it had again gone out to 1 minute when the front group hit a small climb with 30km to go. At this point, Domagalski had been dropped and he was back in the peloton on the lower slopes.
With 12km to go, the front group hit the final categorized climb with an advantage of more than 2 minutes and as Henao swung off, Visconti surged clear. While he got a solid gap, Henao hesitated and he had to make a hard acceleration to rejoin the Italian with Izagirre on his wheel. Further back, Silin sacrificed himself for Cherntskii until Moser and the latter distanced their two companions. In the peloton, Imanol Estevez (Euskadi) and Rolland made a failed attempt
At the top of the climb, the front trio were20 seconds ahead of Moser and Chernetskii but there was no great cooperation. Further back, the chasers were back together and Silin did a great job to reduce the gap to just 10 seconds.
Visconti sacrificed his own chances until he swung off on a small climb with 5km to go where he left it to Izagirre and Henao to press on alone. Moser and Chernetskii tried to close the gap but could only pick up Visconti along the way.
The five chasers gathered 15 seconds behind the leaders but they never got any closer. At the bottom of the final 800m climb to the finish, the gap was 20 seconds and it was clear that Izagirre and Henao would decide the race.
Izagirre led under the flamme rouge and set the pace ll the way up the climb until he launched his sprint from the front. Henao tried to come around but failed and so had to settle for second place. Moser made a late attack to complete the podium, with Visconti rolling across the line in fourth. Carthy and Fabricio Ferrari (Caja Rural) made late attacks from the peloton to make it three Caja Rural riders in the top 10.
GP Miguel Indurain 2016 results:
|1||Ion Izagirre (Movistar)||
|2||Sergio Henao (Sky)||
|3||Moreno Moser (Cannondale)||
|4||Giovanni Visconti (Movistar)||
|5||Sergei Chernetckii (Katusha)||
|6||Pello Bilbao (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)||
|7||Egor Silin (Katusha)||
|8||Hugh Carthy (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)||
|9||Fabricio Ferrari (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA)||
|10||Frederico Figueiredo (Rádio Popular)||
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