Itzulia Basque Country 2019: Ion Izagirre ends a Basque drought

A Basque rider hasn’t won this stage race since 2003, but Ion Izagirre took his chances today, handily supported by his Astana team, and took the final prize. Izagirre was part of an audacious five-man group, all with podium ambitions, that got away 65kms from the finish in today’s final stage, managing to sufficiently distance Emanuel Buchmann (BORA-hansgrohe) in yellow and maintain its advantage to the line. While the stage was won by Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Izagirre, greatly assisted by teammate Jakob Fuglsang, finished a single second back in fourth place but with enough of a margin to take the overall from Dan Martin (UAE Emirates), second on the stage and second overall. After some misdirection at the finish and much confusion, over an hour after the race had finished, former race leader Emanuel Buchmann (BORA-hansgrohe) rounded out the podium (but Fuglsang got the Cava celebration).

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Paris-Nice 2019: Debut victory for Bernal

It’s been another rip-roaring edition of the Race to the Sun. Egan Bernal (Sky) took his maiden Paris-Nice with a comfortable 39-second cushion after taking the leader’s jersey on the penultimate stage. This was despite a late smash-and-grab attempt from fellow Colombian Nairo Quintana (Movistar), who finished runner-up in a Sky sandwich with former leader’s jersey wearer, Michal Kwiatkowski rounding out the podium. Indeed, it was a veritable return to form here for the Skybots, who scooped all the prizes save the KOM jersey.

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Vuelta 2018: Stage 9 – King crowned on La Covatilla, Yates (S) into red

Today’s stage 9 to La Covatilla’s summit was supposed to be on the upper Scoville scale for heat and spiciness but high temperatures and long transfers initially seemed to have sucked the life out of the peloton. Thankfully it sparked into life en route to the final climb with a race for the line and another for GC. Ben King (Dimension Data) took his second Vuelta stage, on yet another summit, from another long-range attack, dropping his breakmates 20km from the line and, despite being in the pain cave, magnificently hanging on to solo across the line ahead of Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Dylan Teuns (BMC). As anticipated, the GC was shaken and stirred with Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) seizing the lead by a single solitary second from the evergreen Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) with his teammate Nairo Quintana 14 seconds back in third.

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