Frustrating day for ORICA-GreenEDGE at the Gran Premio Miguel Indurain

Sat 2 Apr 2016

Adam Yates finished in 15th place at the GP Miguel Indurain today despite a spirited attempt to bridge across to the leaders with 30kilometres remaining.

After starting the day with Mathew Hayman in the early breakaway, the frustration began for ORICA-GreenEDGE when they got caught the wrong side of the split from which the winning move was made. Realising the attack could develop, Michael Matthews began to pull at the head of the peloton alongside Chris Juul Jensen and Amets Txurruka.

Although the advantage initially began to come down, the chase was ultimately in vain as Jon Izagirre (Movistar) broke clear from the reduced breakaway to take the win.

Sports director Dave McPartland lamented the missed oppurtuntiy after good early work by the team.

“We started the race really well, Mathew (Hayman) got into the first breakaway which meant we could leave the early work for the other teams,” said McPartland. “It was surprising how quickly the race came back together and when the next attack happened we were unfortunately caught out of position. We rallied our efforts to try and get back on but it wasn’t to be.”

“Of course its frustrating. We came into the race looking to get a result but it wasn’t our day.

“We need to move on now and concentrate on tomorrow’s race, after all, we saw some positives today. Cheung (King-Lok) performed solidly in his first race at this level and Mathew (Hayman) seems to have made a good recovery after his fracture.”

How it happened:

Clear blue skies and bright sunshine met the riders at the start in the picturesque city of Estella. A breakaway of fourteen riders, including Hayman of ORICA-GreenEDGE formed early on in the race and with the peloton seemingly content to let them go, they developed a lead of over three minutes after 50kilometres.

The leaders gained a maximum advantage of four minutes before the efforts of Movistar on the front of the peloton began to bring them back. The field came back together with just under 90kilometres left to race.

As the race hit the first categorised climb of the day more splits began to appear throughout the peloton. A group led by Vasili Kiryienka (Team-Sky) attacked from the front and established a lead of just over 40seconds.

ORICA-GreenEDGE missed the move and began to chase hard on the front of the second group. The advantage of the escape moved out to over a minute as Juul Jensen and Txurruka began to rotate pulls at the head of the chase in an attempt to bring back the leaders.

With 30kilometres to go Yates attacked from the front of the chasing group, taking Dani Moreno (Movistar) with him. Attempting to bridge across to the leaders, it was a brave move considering Moreno had two teammates among the leaders. The escape now had over a minute and had been reduced to seven, as riders including Kiryienka and Pierre Roland (Team-Cannondale) began to drop back down the road and were becoming part of the Yates group.

Approaching the final ten kilometres of the race the lead group had split in two. Five riders fell behind leaving Sergio Henao (Team-Sky) and Jon Izagirre (Movistar) up the road to contest the closing kilometres. The final ascent to the finish, although short, has an average gradient of 7% before actually reaching the line. Over the final 800metres, a game of cat and mouse ensued between Henao and Izagirre. Henao faking the first attack and then losing ground when Izagirre attacked for real. It was Izagirre who held on to cross the line in first place ahead of the Colombian.

ORICA-GreenEDGE are in action again tomorrow at the Ronde Van Vlaanderen in Belgium and the Vuelta Ciclista a la Rioja in Spain.

Gran Premio Miguel Indurain results:

1.  Jon Izagirre (Movistar) 4:37:18
2.  Sergio Henao (Team Sky) ST
3.  Moreno Moser (Team Cannondale) 0:00:14
15. Adam Yates (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 0:04:05