Itzulia Basque Country. Astana's Izagirre 2nd at queen stage 5
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM Ion Izagirre finished second and Jakob Fuglsang did 4th in today's queen mountain stage 5 of the Itzulia Basque Country (149.8 km).
It was a dramatic final of the stage with a classic Basque climb Arrate passed twice from two different parts.
The German rider Emanuel Buchmann, who attacked on the penultimate 3rd category climb from a small breakaway group, was able to get a solid gap of two minutes over the main group, enough to win the stage and to take the overall lead in the general classification, the official website of the Astana Pro Team reads.
Behind Buchmann it was Astana Pro Team, who was making a huge effort to drop the current leader Maximilian Schachmann and to try to bring back Emanuel Buchmann. Luis Leon Sanchez and Gorka Izagirre did their best to keep the race under control and to provide a good moment for a counterattack for Ion Izagirre and Jakob Fuglsang.
On the last climb to Arrate Fuglsang and Ion Izagirre made a counterattack together with Adam Yates to chase Buchmann. They could gain some time back, finishing 1 minute 8 seconds behind the stage winner.
"We did all we could today. The team was super strong and all guys just gave their best to protect me and to chase Buchmann. Yeah, he went away in a small group and in that moment it looked like we could control it. But, finally, he's got an advantage of 2 minutes and it was just impossible to close it on the final climb. That was the day of today. Anyway, now I am at the second place in GC and Jakob is 5th and tomorrow we still have one more tough day. We are in a good position to counterattack and for sure, we will try to do something. But now, the main thing is to recover from today's efforts as well as possible," said Ion Izagirre.
As result of today's queen stage Izagirre moved up to 2nd place in the general classification, 54 seconds behind Buchmann. Jakob Fuglsang is now 5th in the overall, +1.32.
The final, 6th stage will be held tomorrow: it will be a super hard stage of 118.2 km in Eibar.