At great cost, the cyclist from Caja rural-seguros RGA, Jon Barrentxea, has managed to rise victorious in Itzulia 2023, remaining the leader of the mountain during the six stages.
In search of victory.
The young cyclist Caja Rural-Seguros RGA He showed very good physical condition, struggling to get a very close breakaway which he reached with Caicedo (EFE), Jousseaume (TEN), Tesfatsion (TFS) and Vanhoucke (DSM).
Jon Barrenetxea: «It was very difficult for the break to form at the beginning, there was a lot of fighting, although luckily I was able to stay there for one more day. The jersey has not yet been decided, there are two days left and we must continue fighting between now and Saturday. Throughout the day I have been hearing my name in the race and that made your legs hurt less, very grateful for the love they have given me here today at this stage ».
Deserved mountain leader jersey.
With only the last stage to go, the Biscayan from Caja Rural-Seguros RGA managed to add 3 more points, creating two more leaks and thus extending his advantage.
At the finish line, the Catalan Abel Balderstone was the best man on the team in victory for Sergio Higuita (BOH), despite having to stop due to a puncture in the final stretch. In addition, Edu Prades suffered a fall that forced him to abandon the race.
Jon Barrenetxea: “Today it was important to score, I knew it was going to be difficult because it was going to be difficult to break away. Luckily, only two riders left and I was able to add from the peloton. I was surprised by the good legs I had after five stages, but I gave it my all from below in the port and I was able to pass. Tomorrow will be a day of survival, from the beginning there will be a war and if you look at last year's classification you see that only fifty or sixty runners arrived. You are going to have to suffer not only for the mountain, but to finish the race”.
After enduring the six stages of Itzulia and, with great difficulty, adding the necessary points, Jon Barrenetxea positioned himself as the best climber in the Itzulia 2023.
A few meters from the finish line, Rubén Guerreiro (MOV) and Esteban Chaves (EFE) were close to snatching the victory, to which Jon formed a breakaway and managed to get away from them. This final stage was key, with Jon creating a considerable margin and certifying his polka dot jersey.
Jon Barrenetxea: “It has been a very hard stage, I was able to score points in the first port but then I paid for it. I was left alone and on the descent I was able to get back into the peloton. From there it has been suffering and suffering until reaching the finish line. Today I was more worried about the out of control than the points, although if an opponent sees you close he would still go for it. I knew that I had to endure and that if I reached the finish line I could take it with me. At the start of Itzulia I didn't imagine being able to get to Eibar with this jersey. The first days I knew that the effort would still pay off. It is a dream to be the protagonist at home, in a race like Itzulia. This is another step in my career."
Articles of interest: