Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team | Flat tire on the climb for Izagirre takes away all the chances
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Flat tire on the climb for Izagirre takes away all the chances

  |   Press

Al Ain, February 25th 2018. – The weather looks like we are in Belgium, not in UAE. It’s gloomy, rainy and windy, but at least the temperature is still better then Belgium. Today’s stage we can divide in two parts, first 185 km of flat roads, and last 13km of the climb at Jebel Hafeet for the total of 198.6km, making it the longest stage of this year’s Abu Dhabi Tour.

 

The 9 man breakaway was off as soon as they crossed kilometer zero, including our Bonifazio. The biggest margin they had was over 10 minutes 130km to go, when peloton realized they need to start working. 30km to go breakaway still had 6km to advantage, but the climbers were too strong at the beginning of the Jabel Hafeet climb it was over for the fugitives. Our team worked very well the whole race to have our climbers ready, but 3km into the climb Ion Izagirre got flat tire and his chances for the win disappeared.

 

“We had too leaders today Izagirre and Pozzovivo, although Pozzovivo is coming from the altitude camp, so Izagirre was more of a leader, but he had a flat tire in a really bad moment, really bad luck today. Pozzovivo vas also there but not really that strong to follow the best guys. We saw that Izagirre had good legs today, but it was just bad luck today.” – our Sports Director Rik Verbrugghe was disappointed and continues: “Today team did a really great work, we put Bonifazio in the breakaway, which also did a great work when Izagirre had flat tire. Overall team road well today.”

 

At the end Pozzovivo finished 19th and Izagirre 21st, while overall both are top 20, 15th and 17th respectfully.