The Basque rider Ion Izagirre (Movistar) took a brilliant win at today’s penultimate stage of the Tour de France to Morzine in epic weather conditions.
Izagirre took the solo win after taking off on the treacherous descent of the Col de Joux Plane, leaving Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling) behind.
He finished 19″ clear of Pantano on the 146.5km trek between Megève and Morzine for what was Movistar’s only stage win of the race.
It adds to what has already been an impressive season for Izagirre as he has had GC podium finishes at the Tour de Suisse and Tour of Romandie in addition to winning the Spanish time trial championships last month in Alicante.
Ion Izagirre: “It was an amazing day. A victory in the Tour de France, in the Alps, is something every cyclist could dream of. It was a difficult breakaway, with many talented riders, but our legs responded well, and we could crown it in the best of possible ways.”
“It was clear to me that both Pantano and Nibali were good descenders, but when you’ve struggled so much through the stage you might lack that bit of self-conviction. That’s why it was clearly set in my mind, ever since the top of the Joux Plane climb, that I had to start the ‘real’ descent at the front to reach the finish solo with at least a few meters.”
“I was focused on keeping the right line and all strength into that downhill, giving 100%; it all went well and we’re super happy about this win.”
“At the finish, I could only think about all the efforts and suffering leading up to this victory – they all were truly worth. At the end, it was a good Tour de France for Movistar Team; we all came here with our sights set on the yellow jersey, but Froome proved to be stronger than the rest of the field.”
“I think that completing this race with a stage win, the team GC and Nairo’s podium place in Paris are phenomenal results. This win goes to Gorka, the whole team, my girlfriend and my little baby, expected to be born in October.”