Spain’s Mikel Iturria secured the first victory of his professional career in stage 11 of the Vuelta a España in Urdax today.
The 27-year-old Euskadi-Murias rider assumed the solo lead late in the race and held off a five-man chasing group to take the stage.
“When I was asked in the pre-race presentation which stage I wanted to win, I said this one – with my family here. I’ve always dreamed of something like this, because I’m a worker not a winner,” said Iturria.
Iturria was part of an initial 14-man breakaway group that formed soon after the start of today’s 180km stage, which began in Saint-Palais.
Gorka Izagirre (Astana) and Alexander Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) broke away from the leading group with less than 60km to go. Aranburu was first over the second climb, the Col d’Ispéguy.
The two were joined by Lawson Craddock (EF Education First) as they made their way to the category-three Col de Otxondo, the final climb of the day.
The leading trio grew to a group of seven when Amanuel Gebrezgabihier (Dimension Data), Damien Howson (Mitchelton-Scott), François Bidard (AG2R La Mondiale) and Matteo Fabbro (Katusha-Alpecin) linked up with them.
Iturria, Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Benjamin Thomas (Groupama-FDJ) and Jorge Arcas (Movistar) joined the leaders with 25km to go.
Iturria immediately went off the front.
He had Lastra, Gebrezgabihier, Howson, Bidard and Craddock chasing him with less than 10km to the line.
Iturria managed to hang on to his lead to take his maiden pro victory, with Lastra and Craddock placing second and third respectively.
The peloton crossed the line 18:35 after the stage winner. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) held on to the red jersey.
View the results below.
Stage 11 results
1. Mikel Iturria (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias 4:36:44
2. Jonathan Lastra (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA +0:00:06
3. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First +0:00:06
4. Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott +0:00:06
5. François Bidard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale +0:00:06
6. Amanuel Gebrezgabihier (Eri) Dimension Data +0:00:09
7. Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ +0:00:12
8. Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Katusha-Alpecin +0:00:12
9. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team +0:00:12
10. Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-Quick-Step +0:00:12
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 41:00:48
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team +0:01:52
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team +0:02:11
4. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team +0:03:00
5. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates +0:03:05
6. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal +0:04:59
7. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe +0:05:42
8. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits +0:05:49
9. Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida +0:06:07
10. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida +0:08:44
31. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data +0:28:45
83. Nicholas Dlamini (RSA) Dimension Data +1:13:25
108. Willie Smit (RSA) Katusha-Alpecin +1:29:16
124. Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data +1:44:32