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Itzulia Basque Country. Stage 4. Jakob Fuglsang is 3rd, Ion Izagirre is 8th after late crash

Three Astana Pro Team riders were involved in a late massive crash with just 6 km to go in the fourth stage of the Itzulia Basque Country: Alexey Lutsenko, Ion Izagirre and Pello Bilbao all hit the desk, but, fortunately, could come back on the bike to finish the stage. 

After an attack inside the final kilometer of the last climb of the day four riders went away clear with Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang among them. At the finish it was again Maximilian Schachmann, who took the win, outsprinting Tadej Pogačar, Jakob Fuglsang and Adam Yates.

- On the last climb I just tried to stay up there in front. When Adam Yates attacked, I did my best to follow him and a few other riders. It was a hard and very cold rainy day and on the climb everyone was on the limit. Anyway, I was able to follow that attack and on the descent our group just went on 100%. At the finish I was on the wheel of Schachmann, but all I could just to sprint for third place. It’s a pity Ion, Alexey and Pello crashed down with 6 km to go, but fortunately, all managed to finish the stage. Now we are looking forward to the last two days here at the Itzulia Basque Country, it will be two the most decisive stages, - said Jakob Fuglsang.

Stage 4 of the race with the start in Vitoria-Gasteiz and the finish in Arrigorriaga (163.6 km) became a tough challenge for the riders with a very cold and rainy weather. A crash with just 6 km to go shook the peloton, leaving many riders on the ground with Alexey Lutsenko, Ion Izagirre and Pello Bilbao among them. Ion Izagirre was able to come back on the bike really fast and supporting by Gorka Izagirre and Luis Leon Sanchez he managed to catch the main group at the bottom of the final climb. Spending too much energy in chasing the group it was difficult for Ion to answer immediately the attack of Adam Yates and the others, but, anyway, he still was up there in front and, finally, he finished 8th, 9 seconds behind Maximilian Schachmann.

The first medical checking did not reveal any serious injuries for Lutsenko, Izagirre and Bilbao. However, all three riders will be under observation overnight.

With two stages to go Schachmann leads the general classification of the race, having 51 second to Patrick Konrad and 52 seconds to Ion Izagirre, currently 3rd. Jakob Fuglsang moved up to 7th place in the overall, +1.24 behind the leader.

The queen mountain stage 5 will be held tomorrow: 149.8 km from Arrigorriaga to the top of the famous climb Arrate.

Photo credit: © Getty Images

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