Sport • 18 February, 2019

Gorka Izagirre wins Tour de la Provence after a dramatic final at stage 4

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With less than one second advantage in the general classification, Gorka Izagirre has won Tour de la Provence today. It was a close call after Simon Clarke finished second behind stage winner John Degenkolb and gained extra bonification seconds. But it was not enough for the Australian rider to overtake Gorka Izagirre in the GC, as the leader of Astana Pro Team rode a strong and decent final stage with the help of his team, reports the press service of the club.

- It was a difficult race today. I was very stressed in the final because I didn’t know that Simon Clarke finished in the same time as me. Luckily, the difference was just enough for the overall win. I’m very happy with this victory because it was a hard race for all four days here in the Provence. I want to thank my teammates and the staff with their support during the race, it has been a great first race for me at Astana Pro Team!- said Gorka Izagirre.

- I think we did a great job this week. The final was stressful because it was very close. But we won! Our team did a great job during the whole race. From the start, it was clear that Gorka Izagirre would be our leader for this race, and he was very focussed on winning this Tour de la Provence. The strongest rider wins at the end, and that was Gorka, so great job of him and the team.– said sports director Dmitri Sedoun.

The final stage of Tour de la Provence took off from Avignon and finished in Aix-en-Provence after 162.2 kilometers of hard racing. It was clear from the start, that it wouldn’t be an easy GC win for Gorka Izagirre, as Tony Gallopin (+2” seconds behind Izagirre before today’s race) made it into the breakaway and even gained a bonification second at the intermediate sprint. 

But in today’s final, everything came back together, and the attacks came out of the pack. Gorka Izagirre responded well on the main contenders and together with his teammates, they managed to keep everything together for a final bunch sprint. In this sprint, John Degenkolb was the fastest sprinter of the day, but with Simon Clarke finishing second, it was still very close for the overall win. At the end there was a minimal time advantage for Gorka Izagirre, resulting in his first victory as a rider for Astana Pro Team.

Photo: ©Getty Images

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