Jon Izagirre attacks, Giro d'Italia 2012, stage 16

Jon Izagirre made his Grand Tour debut as successful as possible today at the Giro d'Italia by winning stage 16 to Falzes. The Euskaltel-Euskadi rider, only in his second year, attacked free from his escape partners heading into town.

It's only the fourth, and possibly the last, successful escape of the race.

"Today was the last day for a break like this to work because the coming mountain days will be contested by the GC riders," he said at the finish. "We worked well together because we knew it was our only chance."

Miguel Rubiano (Androni) took the first in Porto Sant'Elpidio, Lars Bak (Lotto-Belisol) won in Sestri Levante and over the weekend, Matteo Rabottini (Farnese Vini) won in Pian dei Resinelli.

Izagirre comes from a cycling family. Dad was a successful cyclo-cross rider and brother Gorka is also a pro in Euskaltel, though not racing in the Giro.

He'd been trying to help the team succeed in an escape for the first two weeks. Today, from the start in Limone sul Garda, everyone one was anxious. Only after 61 kilometres into the 174 kilometres stage, did Izagirre break free with nine others.

"We've been working and riding to form breaks this whole Giro, but it never happened," Izagirre added. "It was very complicated to get into the break today, there were so many attacks."

Once the proper escape was formed, one without a serious threat to the overall, the GC teams were happy to let it ride free. Overall leader Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) and the other favourites are more focused on the three big mountain days ahead, including tomorrow's stage to Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Izagirre hit his companions on the last ramp, from 4.2 to 3.6 kilometres to race. His only other pro win came in the Vuelta a Asturias, a time trial. He used those skills and held off his chasers when the road flattened out in the final 1.5 kilometres.

"It's too soon to say what type of rider I am," he added. "However, winning in the third week is significant, though, it shows I can recover well."

Giro d'Italia 2012: Latest news

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Sky tightens grip on white jersey

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Cavendish's Sky lead-out still on learning curve

Orica-GreenEdge to strengthen sprint train in Tour de France

Schleck struggles on with dislocated shoulder

Rodriguez up against more experienced rivals in Giro

Bak from worker to winner at the Giro

Giro d'Italia 2012: Live coverage

Giro d'Italia 2012 live text coverage schedule

Giro d'Italia 2012: Stage reports

Stage 15: Rabottini takes tough win in Giro

Stage 14: Amador wins Giro's first high mountain stage as Hesjedal reclaims lead

Stage 13: Cavendish makes it three

Stage 12: Bak attacks to win

Stage 11: Ferrari wins Giro stage on ride to redemption

Stage 10: Rodriguez wins thrilling finale to take leadStage nine: Ventoso wins in Frosinone as Goss and Cavendish fall

Stage eight: Pozzovivo takes another Giro win

Stage seven: Hesjedal moves into Giro lead

Stage six: Rubiano solos to epic Giro stage win

Stage five: Cavendish bounces back for another stage win

Stage four: Garmin-Barracuda win TTT to take lead

Stage three: Goss wins in Horsens as Cavendish and Phinney crash

Stage two: Cavendish wins in Herning

Stage one: Phinney wins time trial

Giro d'Italia 2012: Photo galleries

Stage 15 photo gallery

Stage 14 photo gallery

Stage 13 photo gallery

Stage 12 photo gallery

Stage 11 photo gallery

Stage 10 photo gallery

Stage nine photo gallery

Stage eight photo gallery

Stage seven photo gallery

Stage six photo gallery

Stage five photo gallery

Stage four photo gallery

Stage three photo gallery

Stage two photo gallery

Stage one photo gallery

Giro d'Italia 2012: Blogs

Charly Wegelius' Giro blog: Conserving energy for the final week

Charly Wegelius' Giro blog: Holding on to the lead

Charly Wegelius' Giro blog: Getting the team time trial right

Giro moto blog: Hurray for rest day

Giro moto blog: Stage 10

Giro d'Italia 2012: Teams and riders

Giro d'Italia 2012 start list

Giro d'Italia 2012: TV guide

Giro d'Italia 2012: British Eurosport TV schedule

Related links

Giro d'Italia 2012: The Big Preview

Cycling Weekly's Giro d'Italia section


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