Izagirre’s Astana team had lit up the day’s racing in an attempt to overhaul the GC lead of Bora-Hansgrohe’s Emanuel Buchmann, and the tactic paid off, with Izagirre crossing the line way ahead of the German.
However, Buchmann was denied second place, and even a spot on the podium, when he followed a camera bike and missed the final corner, losing further time to finish down in fourth overall in the final standings.
Buchmann takes wrong turn at last corner to miss out on Basque Country podium place
The day was animated by a highly aggressive break, with Astana playing a key role in getting the group clear. Adam Yates managed to stick with the five-man breakaway, and – as the gap increased and Izagirre’s overall victory seemed assured – took the opportunity to attack off the front inside the last four kilometres.
It was an aggressive and gutsy move, but one that paid off for Yates, who told his team after the race:
Today we knew it was the last chance to win and I think Astana had the idea they wanted to win the GC. It was a crazy day, just like yesterday, the pace was super high all day and I think when Bora had the lead, teams like Astana knew they really had to push the pace to drop these guys, so they had to start early.
With 65kilometres to go, the pace was super hard and luckily I had some teammates there to really push the pace. Then from there on the five of us worked well and it was just in the final when I attacked and managed to stay away to win, so it was a really great day.