Movistar Team left the 74th Paris-Nice with a sweet taste as two good results -the win in the teams’ classification and the fifth place overall for Ion Izagirre- wrapped up a week full of different emotions for the Blues. Ion confirmed himself once again as the sort of ‘third man’ the team can rely on when Quintana and Valverde are not around. The Basque allrounder brilliantly responded today after a hard ascent towards the Madone d’Utelle on Saturday, the peloton broken into pieces during this final day as an attack by Contador (TNK) into the Cat-1 Peille climb, created an absolute thriller lasting the 50 kilometers before Nice’s Promenade des Anglais.

Right from the gun, in a short (134km), nervous, demanding (six rated climbs) stage, Jesús Herrada made his third breakaway of this year’s race, a group that added elements until forming a massive 22-man peloton. Reduced to only six strong into the penultimate climb and even more  selected on the foot of the Col d'Eze (Cat-1), Herrada could see the GC favourites chasing down Contador’s first move. Yet, the Madrilian tried his way off the front again with Richie Porte (BMC), forcing the two Movistar Team - Ion and Jesús - to give his best so Herrada could still keep his stage winning chances alive. The fight was eventually fruitless, just meters short to reach a trio led home by Tim Wellens (LTS), a survivor of that early break. Jesús crossed the line in eighth place, with Ion in tenth.

A luxurious overall general classification saw Izagirre finishing 37" behind Geraint Thomas (SKY) and just 55” off the coveted podium, still a good result improved by his team-mates, who got Movistar’s third teams GC win in Paris-Nice in the last ten years (2007, 2014). A success impossible without the contribution of injured Juanjo Lobato and José Joaquín Rojas, as well as a devoted Imanol Erviti, José Herrada, Gorka Izagirre and also Rubén Fernández, who briefly joined the duo Ion-Jesús into the decisive climb.
REPORT TAKEN from Movistar News