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).
A fizzer of a finish on a leg breaking stage in the Basque country and a rainbow sprint to the victory in the Netherlands.
Primoz Roglic made his maiden WorldTour stage race GC victory a fine one, with the top step of the 2018 Itzulia Basque Country. After an opening two-stage mano a mano tussle with double-stage winner Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step), the Slovenian former ski-jumper launched his bid for the overall with three second places and victory in Thursday’s shortish, flatish ITT. He wrapped up victory in today’s queen stage after coming back from a crash and resisting a last-gasp, smash and grab from Movistar, whose Mikel Landa finished runner-up. Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) rounded out the podium (again).