Ion Izagirre 6th in today’s stage and 9th in general classification
AUBAGNE – FAYENCE – 193,5 km
Fayence, France, March 10th – A sunny and warm weather made the 6th stage of Paris-Nice with many difficult climbs a little bit easier. Ion Izagirre with the full support of his team took 6th place today, which brought him 9th place in general classification.
Last night all the teams travelled about 220 km to southern France, to the beautiful Provence region. After the rainy, sometimes even stormy, windy and slippery stages, finally a sunny Provence, with much higher temperatures!
Our riders started the today’s stage with clear directions – to give all the support to Ion Izagirre and his upgrade to the top 10 in the GC. The Stage started with a breakaway of 6 riders on the highest climb Plan-d’Aups-Sainte-Baume (Cat. 3) above Marseille. BAHRAIN MERIDA Team was working good throughout the stage and supporting Ion Izzagirre. Tsgabu Grmay took over the biggest responsibility to support Ion and he proved how good he is, especially on various climbs. All the other teammates were also doing a great job and keeping Ion in the front part of the peloton. At the terminal climb and at the final circle around beautiful, old town of Fayence, Ion Izagirre pushed really hard but kept his strength for the final climb to the finish and took 6th place. The place that immediately raised him to 9th position in the general classification. Today’s plan was carried out in the best possible way.
“It was another hard stage, but I am satisfied with my work and with the work of our team,” commented Ion Izagirre after the race. “First few stages were in the cold and windy weather and today the temperature went up to 26 degrees, which is a great difference for the body. But the team worked perfectly, they helped me keep the position in the front of the peloton, so I’m really happy with the race.”
Tsgabu Grmay, one of the key climbers, added: “I tried my best to stay with Ion during the race. In the beginning there were a lot of attacks, I was covering a lot, but that’s my job. As a team we are getting more and more confident, starting to ride with the big guys in the front. All that makes me work even harder and fight more. Now we have two days to go and I will continue to give everything I can.“
Sports director, Philippe Mauduit said that the plan was to bring Ion in the best possible position for the finish and that he is satisfied with the team’s performance. “There were a lot of climbs today and Tsgabu proved his value for the team. He is an excellent climber and especially a good team player. I can hardly wait for tomorrow’s race.”
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