Ion Izagirre of the Cofidis team claimed his second career Tour de France stage win in the 12th stage, delivering a second victory for Spain in this year’s Tour. The Basque rider launched a brutal attack 30km from the finish, soaring solo on the last short climb of the day and decisively leaving the breakaway behind. His success marks the second stage win for a Basque rider, after Pello Bilbao’s triumph in Stage 10.
His victory followed an exhilarating day of cycling that began with a flurry of attacks. A 15-man breakaway finally established itself halfway through the 169-kilometre stage that took riders across the Beaujolais vineyards and up two challenging climbs. The race got off to an explosive start, with the chasing pack reduced to about 40 riders. A high-speed crash involving David De La Cruz and Quentin Pacher even split the peloton in two.
One key attack saw Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel break away from the leading group, only to be reeled back in 32km from the end. It was at this moment that Izagirre made his crucial move. The Spanish rider demonstrated impressive form, leaving France’s Mathieu Burgaudeau and Matteo Jorgenson over a minute behind to finish second and third respectively. It’s the 2nd time that Jorgenson has come close to a stage win in this year’s Tour de France, his ascent of Puy de Dome almost saw him win on stage 9.
Despite these shake-ups, the general classification remains largely unchanged. Defending champion Jonas Vingegaard of Denmark holds onto the leader’s yellow jersey, leading Slovenian Tadej Pogacar by 17 seconds and Australian Jai Hindley by 2:40. Frenchman Thibaut Pinot improved from 15th to 10th overall, but was unable to match Izagirre’s pace when the Spaniard made his decisive move.
The intensity of the race is expected to continue into Friday’s 13th stage, which includes the challenging ascent of the Grand Colombier.
“It’s incredible. I tried to break away throughout the Tour but today it worked out. It’s a very Basque Tour de France. It started at home for us and we’ve taken two stage wins.”Ion Izagirre
2023 Tour de France Stage 12 result
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Main photo credit: Getty