Tour de France 2023: Ion Izagirre, after completing the double: “I collapsed because there are many days away from home, where you miss important things…”
youAfter five years of follow-up, the champagne was uncorked. Ion Izagirre rounds off the fantastic week of a Spanish cycling that started celebrating with bilbao hair and that this Thursday vibrated again with the Basque crack, who raised his arms seven years later in the Tour de France. The youngest of the brothers analyzes his victory in BRAND, at the ‘Kofidis’ hotel, where a very special night was spent.
What do you think of so many people receiving you at the hotel? How have you lived it all?
No, the truth is that I am surprised. This Thursday was very exciting. It was only 30 kilometers. They gave me pretty good references, but you can never relax.
Did you ever think you were getting caught? How did you live that particular individual chrono?
Not because the distance was quite wide. It is true that the last kilometer was stinging and my legs ached. Until the last straight line I couldn’t fully enjoy it and celebrate it a bit, but it was very difficult.
Was the strategy clear? They took advantage of the superiority of being two.
He knew that the last port of the day was key. We come from a demanding stage, with the right forces. We were two colleagues, I chose to start and I was fortunate to make that gap.
He owes half the victory to his teammate Guillaume Martin.
Yes, the truth is that he did a great job. Having a partner like that always helps. They were already telling me that they were drying up the attacks and interrupting the harmony of the rear group and the truth is that it is appreciated. It is important to always carry a partner. The work came out splendid. It is clear that it has been key.
I released people like Van der Poel, which is not easy at all. They call him ‘Van der Bull’ for a reason!
He looked back and knew that he was coming at a wheel. But he also came from a ride with Andrey and knew that he would come toasted. He only thought of giving everything up to the top of the port to take advantage. Taking rent, then in the descent he will be able to defend me. It was a great team strategy.
It has been a long time until the Spanish have triumphed again.
You see! The drought has been long. It was hard for us to win, but now we have two and we hope this continues.
It would be his turn to pay for dinner after this success.
I pay for dinner and whatever it takes!
Euskopower. The race started in Bilbao and now they have two victories with that of Pello Bilbao and his.
Keep the party going! There are still a few days. We hadn’t won for five years and now, in three days, we’ve been two. We hope to continue this good streak!
From the famous video singing in Basque at the ETB they have already won two out of three, the only thing missing is his brother Gorka.
And so much! The next one goes to him… I’m sure. We are on the right track, now the other member of the family is missing.
It was his daughter’s birthday, so he broke down a bit after winning.
A Tour victory is always special. And, since my day was already special in itself because of my daughter’s birthday, it ended up being doubly special (laughs). I couldn’t call him until the night with the podium, the press conference, control, hotel… I didn’t have it in my hand until the night. I was excited because there are many days away from home. You miss a lot of small and important things for me and for the family. In the morning I congratulated him on his mobile, but nothing better than giving him this victory in the Tour.
You miss many small and important things for me and for the family
Well, you don’t know much. What he has told me is to come back now. That’s what worried him.
What other gifts will I bring you? Do you ask for a typical little lion from the Tour?
That will have to explain to him that it is more difficult to win it and take it away. They ask me a lot, when will the lion take them.
Besides her, who else is this success for?
For all the family who suffer greatly from this absence and for the Cofidis team, who had not won for many years. This Tour we have already won two victories and many more to follow.
How does it feel to see yourself on the cover of MARCA?
I like the truth. Something special. Thank you so much!
Did this one taste better to you or the one from Morzin?
Perhaps this is because it is more recent, but both are important. A Tour victory, whatever it is, is always very important. The Tour is a great showcase. Winning here is different because of the impact it has. It is seen and noticed. Everyone knows what you’ve done here, even if it’s something smaller. Even if it’s only taking a leak, everyone finds out.
How many calls or messages have you had?
Well, I have the mobile fuming. I had over 150 messages before dinner. I have work to answer everyone. I have to hire a secretary to help me answer everyone (laughs).
I noticed them in Euskadi with anxiety to be able to win, did that pressure get to them a bit?
You always want to win at home and do something different or special. We all want to win. But it is that the stages were propitious for the men of the general. In the Donosti stage I had a puncture before the port and my options were gone. You have to keep a cool head and think that new opportunities may come your way.
In the Donosti stage I had a puncture before the port and my options ran out, but you always have to keep a cool head and think that new opportunities can come your way.
What now? What do you expect in the remainder of the Tour?
Now it’s time to enjoy and celebrate with a little champagne. And rest. This Friday will be different, we will try to recover as much as possible to try to continue a bit in this vein.
This weekend the Alps arrive, there may be more options there.
S. Being as we are, there are options. Victory will be expensive because there are also stages for the men in the general classification, but we are not going to stop trying.
It is said that there is no two without three…
Well yes, let’s hope so. This looks good, let’s see if more successes come.
Go to Carlitos or Pello Bilbao for the podium?
Yes. They are there in the Top 5 with options to make the podium. It is clear that the two beasts in front of you play in another league. But there is a long Tour ahead. The time trial arrives, which is going to be decisive and they defend themselves well there.
Both Pello Bilbao and Carlos Rodríguez are close by and have podium options
Those who are still at the top are also Pogacar and Vingegaard, they beat each other every day.
Yes. They are two very fighting runners, they don’t leave a day without trying. Now comes a complicated weekend for those of the general. I do not opt for either because both have options. They have very little time difference and I foresee a very fun Tour.
Of those that remain, which stage seduces you the most?
I no longer choose, I don’t do ‘x’. I go every day for the escape. Me and the whole team. This Friday I will take it more calmly, but I will keep trying in the coming stages.
Gorka Gerriagoitia: “We knew that Ion could win on this Tour”
The Basque director of Cofidis analyzed for MARCA the second victory of his team in this ‘Grande Boucle’. ‘Gerri’, who had been advancing the possibility of the success of his pupil for days, was more than satisfied with how the day was resolved after a great strategy from his team.