Ion is 3rd on the eve of the final battle
Eibar, 6th April 2018 – Tomorrow there will be the great final battle, but for the moment let’s enjoy the good day of Ion Izagirre and young Mark Padun. Yesterday tenth in GC, today Ion has recovered seven positions and is now third with a 2’13″ gap from the race leader Primoz Roglic but only 16″ from the second place.
“It was a very hard day – says Ion, third on the Einar’s finish line – the Movistar Team made the first climb very strong and already someone went into difficulty. Then me and Mikel Landa attacked Landa and in the end we recovered precious time “.
“I did not start well this Itzulia – he adds – and I immediately lost a few seconds in the first stage, but now I feel much better and tomorrow I foresee an explosive stage and we will see if I will have the same leg as today”.
At the end of a great performance, Padun has regained the polka dots of the Mountain Classification leader: “The tactic was to get into the break but only if there were riders of important teams – explains the 21 year old Ukrainian – and so I went. I wanted to try to get into the stage Top Ten and at the end I finished 7th, but above all I put the jersey back on and tomorrow I’ll try to defend it “.
Good race also for the Austrian Hermann Pernsteiner: “I did not have any problems with the best ones going uphill, I still have some difficulties in staying ahead before the climb in narrow roads like here, but it is also a matter of experience. I feel growing and tomorrow will try to give my contribution to the team and to Ion “.
Our Team Ambassador Purito Rodriguez followed the stage on the first “ammiraglia”: “The team has worked very well. Padun proved to be very talented and going on the run could help Ion in the final. Once again, Ion has shown that this is a race he likes and can do even better “.
The “etapa reina” is only 122km but with eight climbs, of which two are first category. The finish is at the famous Arrate sanctuary after a climb of just over 3km but with an average gradient of 12.7%.
(All pictures attached can be used for editorial and non-commercial use) – © Team Bahrain-Merida / @BettiniPhoto)