Intxausti dedicates stage victory to Tondo, admits to being nervous ahead of Tour of Beijing conclusion
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Monday, October 14, 2013

Intxausti dedicates stage victory to Tondo, admits to being nervous ahead of Tour of Beijing conclusion

by VeloNation Press at 4:09 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Beijing
Spaniard poised for biggest career success providing he and Movistar team can control rivals

Benat IntxaustiMovistar rider Beñat Intxausti has paid tribute to his late friend Xavi Tondo after his stage win today in the Tour of Beijing, saying that the victory is in his honour.

The Spaniard was present when his compatriot was killed in a tragic accident in 2011, and also remembered him publically when he took a stage in this year’s Tour of Italy.

“I am dedicating this victory to Xavi Tondo. He is a very special person to me,” Intxausti said after today’s stage to the top of Mentougou Miaofeng mountain, where he beat Garmin-Sharp’s Dan Martin by three seconds and David Garcia Lopez (Sky) by four.

“It's a really important win for me, because I couldn't make such a great second part of the season as with the first one with the Giro. I didn't feel really well in the Vuelta, and despite working well for the team, it might have not shown my real level.

“The last days of the Vuelta were the best for me, and that kept me focused to train and take care of myself in the weeks leading up to this race.”

Intxausti went clear in an early break and picked up a two second time bonus before returning to the bunch and saving energy prior to his attacking with two kilometres to go.

“At the start of the day the plan was for Rui Costa and for me, so we had both options. In the last two kilometres, I tried to attack so that I could win the stage. Also, we worked hard to take the bonifications [time bonuses – ed.], because they were also important.

“The final climb was fast, but the pace fell a bit with two kilometres left, so I jumped,” he continued, explaining how the finale played out. “I saw López coming from behind but not being able to catch me, and also Daniel Martin in the finale.

“I was giving everything I had from when I attacked, but could still hang on and even raise my arms to enjoy the win.”

That, the time gained plus the bonus for the stage win ensured that he ended the day ten seconds ahead of Martin in the overall standings; with a flat, fast stage to end the race tomorrow, he is looking almost certain to win the Tour of Beijing.

Intxausti admits he’s nervous, but he also knows that the advantage he has makes it very unlikely that he will lose the race. He and his team will focus on tracking Martin and with the sprinters likely to soak up the bonus seconds at the stage end, he’s almost certainly set to be the 2013 winner of the Tour of Beijing.

He doesn’t want to take anything for granted, though. “It might seem like an easy day tomorrow, but the nerves will be up with bonus seconds up for grabs and we will have to stay attentive,” he said.

“Fortunately, I have a strong team at my side, and it will be easier with them to hopefully keep the jersey and get onto the final podium at the end of the day.”


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