Alex Aranburu secures another top ten result in his first Tour de France participation
Alex Aranburu sprinted to another sixth place in his first Tour de France journey as part of the chase group behind the day’s solo winner.
After the final rest day, the race continued its journey and left Andorra to return to France with 169 demanding kilometres in Saint-Gaudens for the first of three days in the Pyrenées.
The start included a downhill section which was neutralized to give the riders the chance to change their clothes due to the cold temperatures. As the race re-started, attacks were flying from all directions with a fierce battle to make the breakaway playing out. The young Basque rider Alex Aranburu was attentive and chased the leaders at the front, alongside teammate Omar Fraile, who was quite active at the beginning of the first climbs.
At the foot of the second to last climb of the race, the Col de Portet d´Aspet, Aranburu was part of a chase group around 20 seconds down on the leading trio. At this moment, eventual stage winner Patrick Konrad went clear and opened up a gap over his opponents while behind, Aranburu dug deep in the third chasing group.
After a long and rainy day in the saddle, the Itzulia Basque Country stage winner crossed the line in sixth place, his second top ten result in his Tour de France debut. Teammate Alexey Lutsenko came home together with the yellow jersey, which sees no change on the overall ranking with Lutsenko remaining in seventh place overall.
“It was very fast from the beginning of the stage so it was very difficult for me to get into the breakaway. We all tried a lot and, in the end, I managed to get into the right move. By the end, I didn’t have much strength left but we had the stage victory to fight for. Konrad from Bora – hansgrohe got away so we were chasing behind and then in the sprint, I did what I could. In theory, it suited me. I feel like I have come a long way at the race. It has been a very, very hard Tour de France but day by day I am getting there and learning things and fighting every day”, said Aranburu.
Tour de France
Stage 16: El Pas de la Casa ›Saint-Gaudens (169km)
Top 3: Patrick Konrad (Bora-hansgrohe); 2. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Victorious), 3. Michael Matthews (Bike-Exchange)
Astana – Premier Tech Top 3: 6. Alex Aranburu, 15. Alexey Lutsenko 60. Hugo Houle