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Two Jumbo-Visma riders finish in top 10 of Itzulia

Kuss finishes tour 57th in general classification
Team Jumbo-Visma cyclists compete in the fourth stage of the Itzulia Basque Country. (Courtesy Team Jumbo-Visma)

Jonas Vingegaard finished fifth in the queen stage, and final stage, on the Tour of the Basque Country, which ended in a spectacular way on Saturday.

The riders had to climb as much as 3,600 altimeters in the short 135.7-kilometer stage. After a few kilometers, 12 riders escaped from the peloton. In different groups, they braved the steep climbs that characterize the roads in the Basque Country.

At about 40 kilometers, Primoz Roglic attacked and the Slovenian got three riders with him. A little later, Vingegaard joined the quartet with several other riders and the last remaining fugitive, Davide Formolo, was caught. Shortly afterward, Vingegaard, Pello Bilbao, Ion Izagirre and Aleksandr Vlasov broke away, joined in the final kilometers by Marc Soler and Daniel Felipe Martinez. Izagirre won the stage, Vingegaard sprinted to fifth place.

Sepp Kuss did not finish the final stage, but finished 57th in the general classification.

Vingegaard finished sixth in the general classification, 32 seconds off the lead, two places ahead of teammate Roglic. Roglic won the time trial to start the tour and held onto the leader’s jersey for the first four stages before getting passed.

Martinez finished first in the GC in 21:59:36, followed by Izagirre and Vlasov.

“I felt very strong today,” Vingegaard said. “On the climbs I tried to attack several times. The collaboration with the breakaway riders went well. Unfortunately we were caught by some other riders. In the end, my legs were extremely tired, but I refused to give up early. I tried to move up a few places in the general classification because the goal was to finish on the podium. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, but at least I tried.”

Sports director Marc Reef acknowledged that Team Jumbo-Visma started the stage with great ambition.

“The intention was to win the race. Today, for the first time this tour, it was a man-to-man fight,” Reef said. “With Primoz and Jonas we had two guys who were still doing well in the classification. The goal was to first increase the pace with Primoz. He did that very well.”

“As a result, the best remained and Jonas was among them. The situation seemed perfect as some riders ahead of us in the general classification were behind. Unfortunately, they managed to return. We raced to win,” he said. “Of course, we had hoped for more, but we showed ourselves this week in the Basque Country.”