Daniel Felipe Martínez takes the txapela for the Itzulia 2022 and Ion Izagirre wins the final stage       

Daniel Felipe Martínez won his first txapela during a vibrant and spectacular stage. A great Ion Izagirre took the stage victory.   

©Charly Lopez

The final stage of the Itzulia started with the fight for the txapela wide open. With Remco Evenepoel just 2″ ahead of Daniel Feliper Martinez. The day started with a breakaway attempt by 12 riders in two groups, but it was Davide Formolo (24, UAD), Nelson Oliveira (54, MOV), Cristian Rodriguez (106, TEN) and Tony Gallopin (181, TFS) who led most of the race.

After the first mountain passes of the day came Krabelin, its steep ramps chocking the breakaway except for a great Davide Formolo, who maintained the lead despite losing time against the group of favourites. The peloton’s approach to the pass was guided by the Ineos-Grenadiers. As soon as the steep ramps arrived, Roglic launched an attack followed by several favourites, but not the race leader. After several attempts, a noticeable gap finally emerged on the climb with Vingegaard, Vlasov, Mas, and Daniel Felipe Martinez breaking away.

On the descent to Izua, Daniel Felipe was left behind, and Ion Izagirre and Peio Bilbao, who knew the terrain, linked up with the front of the race. From there they worked together and chased Formolo who caught the group. Behind, Evenepoel propelled the chasing group in tandem with Daniel Felipe Martínez. Both could see the Itzulia slipping away from them. Managing to reduce their 30″ deficit down to 19″. At which point Evenepoel and Peio Bilbao were tied in terms of the virtual classification for the race. After descending to Elgoibar, Remco managed to link up with the group. Taking advantage of a lapse on the part of the leader, Ion Izagirre with Daniel Felipe Martinez and Davide Formolo, broke away to gain a 10” gap. But the leader again closed the gap.

The fight for the general classification was apparent even in the intermediate sprints with Evenepoel taking 3″, Daniel Felipe 2″ and Peio Bilbao 1″. Then it was time for the last pass of the Itzulia 2022, Usartza. With everything still to play for Formolo pulled ahead opening up a 50″ margin. The group of favourites watched each other until Ion Izagirre’s change of pace left the leader unable to follow the group. Seeing the leader’s weakness, the rest of the favourites stepped up the pace and attacked. Daniel Felipe Martinez had it in the bag for the overall victory. Vlasov began to set a pace that only Daniel Felipe and Ion Izagirre could match. They regrouped again. With 3.5km to go, a clash between Vingegaard and Ion Izagirre ended up with the latter on the ground. He got up, kept going and managed to link up with the leading group.

Vlasov continued forwards with Daniel Felipe Martínez already looking like the winner. The stage was decided during the sprint with a great Ion Izagirre taking victory, and Daniel Felipe Martínez winning the 61st edition of the Itzulia.

The txapela for the 2022 edition of the Itzulia now has an owner: Daniel Felipe martínez. Ion Izagirre finished 11″ behind the leader and is second. Vlasov came in third. Remco Evenepoel in the end came 4th overall. The leaders of the different classifications are as follows:

  • Individual:
    • 1st: Daniel Felipe Martínez (63, IGD)
    • 2nd: Ion Izagirre (71, COF)
    • 3rd: Alexandr Vlasov (86, BOH)
  • Mountain: Cristian Rodríguez (106, TEN)
  • Points: Daniel Felipe Martínez (63, IGD)
  • Youth: Remco Evenepoel (44, QST)
  • Teams: Ineos-Grenadiers
  • Best Euskaldun: Ion Izagirre (71, COF)
  • Combativity (6th stage): Ion Izagirre (71, COF)
  • Longest breakaway: Ibon Ruiz (206, EKP)
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