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Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. Stage 4. Ion Izagirre and Oscar Rodriguez in Top-10 atop Sierra de Bernia

The queen stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana with the finish atop a super steep climb Sierra de Bernia in Altea (5 km, 13.3% average) has been held today. Two Astana Pro Team riders, Ion Izagirre and Oscar Rodriguez finished in the Top-10 of the stage: Ion took 7th place, while Oscar did 9th.

- A tough day on the road and today I did my best on the final climb. In the final part of the stage our team went at the front to chase the breakaway, while on the climb I just gave my all to be as high as possible. In general, I can be happy with my performance in my first race of the season. Yeah, Pogačar was too strong today, but I am satisfied with the progress of my form and I hope I can do more in my next race in Andalucia, - said Ion Izagirre.

- I think we can be satisfied with the result. The team did a very good stage, the guys worked really well together, and we are happy with the way we spent this day on the road. It is true that the final climb was super steep for February with some slopes over 21-22%. Today a few riders like Tadej Pogačar or Wout Poels were just stronger, but it is really nice result to have two riders in the Top-10 on a climb like this one. So, it was a good day for Astana Pro Team, which gives us some additional confidence ahead of the next races in this early stage of the season, - said Bruno Cenghialta.

A strong breakaway group went away shortly after the start of the stage in Calp, quickly taking a good gap. But the peloton never gave the escapers too much space and at the bottom of the final climb the break has been caught back.

The Slovenian Tadej Pogačar launched a strong solo attack with around 2 km to go to win this stage and to take the lead in the general classification of the race. Both Astana riders, Ion Izagirre and Oscar Rodgiruez were up there among the leaders, fighting for a good result and, finally, finishing 7th and 9th, respectively. 

With only one stage to go Ion Izagirre is sitting of 7th place, while Oscar Rodriguez is 9th in the overall.

The last stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana will be held tomorrow: 97.7 km from Paterna to Valencia.

Photo credit: © Getty Images

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