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Itzulia Basque Country. Stage 3. Ion Izagirre is 5th in crash marred final

A huge crash inside the final 6 km of stage 3 seriously impacted not only the daily results, but also the general classification of the Itzluia Basque Country since many favorites were involved in it. Among the riders, who was caught by the crash were two Astana Pro Team riders: Jakob Fuglsang and Omar Fraile. Fortunately, both avoided too serious injures and were able to finish the race.

Astana’s leader Ion Izagirre, protected by the teammates, did a very good uphill sprint in Estibaliz, taking the fifth place behind stage 3 winner and race leader Maximilian Schachmann.

- I felt as my read wheel has been touched by someone and in the next moment I heard the roar of the crash behind me. I was lucky to be in front and not to crash. After the finish I found Omar and Jakob were involved there, but, hopefully, both avoided big injures. In the end there was an explosive sprint, I did my best and finished 5th. In general it was quite a dangerous final with some wind and narrow roads. Everyone wanted to be in front, because the final kilometers were really tricky, so it was very nervous in the group. Anyway, the team was super good today, my teammates did a very strong job to protect me and I could pass it without any problem, - said Ion Izagirre.

Eight riders made the daily breakaway shortly after the start in Sarriguren to get an advantage over 3 minutes. The escapers still had some seconds of advantage inside the final 10 kilometers, when the peloton was hit by the massive crash, but anyway, the break, finally, has been caught and another powerful uphill sprint decided the stage. The Kazakh champion Alexey Lutsenko opened the sprint with 200 meters to go, but later he was overpassed by Maximilian Schachmann and some other riders.

In the general classification of the race Schachmann is leading the race, having 33 seconds on Ion Izagirre, who moved up to 2nd place overall.

Stage 4 of the race will be held tomorrow: 163.6 km from Vitoria-Gasteiz to Arrigorriaga.

Photo credit: © Getty Images

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