- Jonas Vingegaard takes the txapela for the Itzulia 2023
- The podium was completed by Mikel Landa in second, and Ion Izagirre in third
The final stage was on, 137.8 kilometres that would decide the winner of the Itzulia 2023. It was all up for grabs, palpable in the atmosphere. The riders were focussed, animated and eager to start.
With seven scoring mountain passes to go, the race started off calmly enough with several timid attacks in the first few metres. At km 20, the breakaway of the day formed with 12 riders: Daniel Martinez (IGD, 1), Valentin Paret-Peintre (ACT, 16), Emanuel Buchmann (BOH, 51), Harm Vanhoucke (DSM, 76), Esteban Chaves (EFE, 84), Bruno Armirail (GFC, 92), Rein Taaramäe (ICW, 106), Edward Dunbar (JAY, 113), Ruben Guerreiro (MOV, 122), Steven Kruijswijk (TJV, 164), Attila Valter (TJV, 167) and Marc Hirschi (UAD, 172). Jumbo Visma played their cards very well and placed two men in the breakaway to help their leader at the end of the stage.
Bahrain Victorious, without a rider in the breakaway, tried to close the gap, which could only manage a two-minute lead.
Krabelin ultimately caught the breakaway, only Esteban Chaves (EFE, 84), Ruben Guerreiro (MOV, 122), Steven Kruijswijk (TJV, 164) and Attila Valter (TJV, 167) remained. Behind, the peloton remained fairly intact with the Bahrain riders in the lead. As they passed Markina-Xemein, Mauro Schmid (SOQ, 135) and Igor Arrieta (EKP, 203) launched from the peloton. The Soudal-Quickstep rider made it in with 42 kilometres to go. Igor Arrieta was absorbed by the peloton with 34 kilometres to go. Mauro Schmid managed to break away and started the climb to Izua with a slight advantage.
The peloton started the climb to Izua led by Groupama-FDJ. The race leader had a 1-minute lead. Ion Izagirre (COF, 61) didn’t wait any longer and launched an attack that was quickly countered by the race leader. Attila Valter was waiting for Vingegaard to launch him upwards, while Enric Mas (MOV, 121) was on his wheel. The Hungarian rider did not last long in the yellow jersey spot, soon joined by his other team-mate in the breakaway, Steven Kruijswijk, who led him to the summit at a great pace. Chasing behind were Ion Izagirre, Sergio Higuita and other favourites. Two kilometres to the top of Izua and Jonas Vingegaard was alone with Ruben Guerreiro and Enric Mas. The Movistar Mallorcan was unable to keep up and the Danish Jumbo Visma rider took advantage, upped the pace and didn’t look back.
The leading group was caught by the leader who began the ride to the finish line. Behind, the group with Enric Mas, Mikel Landa, Ion Izagirre and Sergio Higuita fought to reduce the gap, although it continued to grow. 40 seconds ahead at the top of Izua.
The leader prove yet again that he was the best at this year’s Itzulia and continued to increase his lead over the chasing group to 1 minute. The chasing group of 13 would fight for the other two spots on the podium.
Jonas Vingegaard becomes the first Dane to win the Itzulia Basque Country. The Jumbo Visma rider played his team cards very well and proved to be the strongest in the decisive stages of this year’s race.
Standings after Stage 6
Stage winner: Jonas Vingegaard (TJV, 161)
Overall individual ranking: Jonas Vingegaard (TJV, 161)
Mountain classification: Jon Barrenetxea (CJR, 194)
Overall points classification: Jonas Vingegaard (TJV, 161)
Overall ranking best young rider: Brandon Mcnulty (UAD, 171)
Overall team classification: SOUDAL QUICK-STEP
Overall ranking best Basque rider: Mikel Landa (TBV, 141)
Most combative: Esteban Chaves (EFE, 84)