Ion Izagirre: “It was very exciting”

By Saturday, with the arrival in Morzine, a good part of the spotlights were on Ion Izagirre. The last time the Tour reached this outcome, in 2016, the victory went to the Basque, his only conquest on the Tour, by being the strongest and crossing the finish line alone. The one from Cofidis did not wait, and in Belleville-en-Beaujolais he prevailed in a big way. I knew it was a day for an escape, although it took a long time to consolidate, and there was Ion, with his team representing Guillaume Martin twice. A solo adventure of 30 km towards the goal, two of them in ascent, and after coming from behind. As soon as he crossed the finish line, and after putting his hand to his ear with a dedication for his daughter Iraia (she has two), who blew out candles, was moved.

“It takes a long time, and you never know what is going to happen, but I felt strong. I wanted to have enough income so they didn’t have a visual reference. A lot happened during the final kilometers and it was all very exciting”said the Basque, 34 years old. The Basque landed at Cofidis in 2022 after passing through Euskaltel, Movistar, Bahrain and Astana. He signed for the French team for one season, it was a very big change for him (for most of his career he shared a team with his older brother Gorka) and he did not want to risk it. A few months later, during the Tour a year ago, he renewed for two seasons. He had found a comfortable place, where he is one of the great referencess. Cofidis, until this year, had not won on the Tour since 2008. In this edition, it already has two, with the success of Lafay in San Sebastián and this one in Ion.

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“Is incredible. We arrived with the challenge of winning a stage and doing a good overall with Guillaume. He is coming out all great”added an emotional Izagirre. He works perfectly in French and is not very fond of social networks, despite the fact that his wife insists that he use it more to promote himself. Ion shows that the best promotion is to win the Tour de France. He missed his little girl’s birthday, “one of the great sacrifices” of being a cyclist, but his dedication, in the biggest race in the world, was unbeatable.

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