Warren Barguil takes the win in GP Indurain
Saturday 2 April 2022 at 17:39
Warren Barguil has won the Gran Premio Miguel Indurain. At Estella, Arkéa Samsic’s French puncheur was the best in the small group sprint, which came about after the course exploded two kilometers from the finish on the steep final climb. Aleksandr Vlasov crossed the line in second, Simon Clarke in third.
In the run-up to next week’s Tour of the Basque Country, the Gran Premio Miguel Indurain was on the calendar. A successor was sought for Alejandro Valverde, who is currently still recovering after his health problems that arose in the Volta a Catalunya. Due to the weather conditions, the organization was forced to change the course. Some climbs were dropped and the distance was shortened by twelve kilometers to 192 kilometers. However, with a difference in altitude of 2400 meters, there was still plenty of climbing left.
Just before half past one, the go-ahead was given in Estella. It took a while before the flight of the day came about but in the end nine riders found each other. Paul Lapeira (AG2R), Óscar Cabedo (Burgos-BH), Stephen Bassett (Human Powered Health), Jon Barrenetxea (Caja Rural), Iván Cobo (Kern Pharma), Alex Martin (EOLO-Kometa), Mikel Bizkarra, Txomin Juaristi ( Euskaltel) and Rafal Reis (Glassdrive Q8 Anicolor). The group broke away from the peloton for three minutes, where the Movistar team checked.
Remarkable fall in the leading group
At 74 kilometers from the finish, Barrenetxea fell in the leading group. The 21-year-old rider, winner of the mountains classification in the Ruta del Sol, was busy with his clothes and lost control of his bike. However, the young rider was able to bounce back and quickly take his place in the breakaway. Meanwhile, Movistar had been reinforced by UAE Emirates at the top of the pack. The peloton accelerated and slowly but surely the lead of the front runners started to shrink.
At 43 kilometers from the finish, the difference was only a minute and Bassett jumped away from his fellow refugees. The American drove alone for a while, but was caught up again. Meanwhile, the escapees lost Cabedo and Cobo. They wouldn’t make it to the end and were caught twenty kilometers from the finish. In the final several riders tried to break away, but in the end a reduced peloton started the climb of the Alto Ibarra, a calf biter of only 700 meters but at more than 10%.
Marc Hirschi and Pierre Latour in particular impressed on this steep slope two kilometers from the finish. They both fired an arrow and drove the rest uphill. In the descent, however, several riders were able to return. In the technical last kilometer it almost went wrong due to a motard that went down less quickly than the riders, but everyone stayed upright. A small group sprinted for the win, with Warren Barguil having the best final shot. At the finish he was just ahead of Aleksandr Vlasov. Simon Clarke came in third.