Israel Start-Up Nation’s Itamar Einhorn showed his consistency in bunch sprints at the highest level as he took seventh place on stage 13 of the Vuelta a España.
Prior to the start of the stage, the team plan was clear: Go all in for Einhorn, hoping that he could make podium in the expected bunch sprint. The ISN guys all rallied around the Israeli sprinter, keeping him out of trouble during the scalding hot 203 km long stage from Belmez to Villanueva de la Serena.
As the early breakaway got caught and the teams of the sprinters started setting a frantic pace at the front of the peloton, Guy Niv and Sep Vanmarcke did an impeccable job keeping Einhorn in position. However, on the last two kilometers, the peloton split up at the front, leaving just a handful of riders with a gap on the rest.
Einhorn fought hard to move up to get into contention again but ultimately, two of the riders from the small group ahead managed to make it all the way and sprint for the win while Einhorn had to settle for seventh place. A bittersweet result for the 23-year-old as he had hoped for more, but he’s still very content with his second top-10 in his first Grand Tour.
Itamar Einhorn: “I’m happy I got another top-10 for me and for the team. It was really hot out there today and my teammates really supported me perfectly. We were very well-positioned coming in from the big road but then everybody took that right-hand turn really fast and me and Sep lost a bit of positions.
“Sep tried to bring me back to the front but at that moment, it was just one long line of about 30 riders. All I could do was try to improve my position. I saw there was a gap at the front and I hoped that other teams would close it. In the end, I gave it all I had and I finished seventh. It’s a good result but this was really a crazy sprint.”
ISN sprint coach, Greg Henderson: “This is the first time I’m working with Itamar on one-on-one but I saw him sprinting in Vuelta a Burgos earlier this month and I said to the performance group there and then that his timing and positioning is actually perfect. We just have to work on making it a complete package now.
“This Vuelta is his first opportunity at the highest level and even without a full lead-out train, he’s consistently up there around top-5 in the bunch sprints that he’s contenting. It’s exciting to see him going up against the best in the world here.
“He’s doing very, very well for himself and he’s getting a lot of respect in the peloton for the way he’s doing it. I’m really excited for the future as I think he has made a lot of progression and there is still room for more. I think he has a bright future ahead of him.”
— Mikkel to israelcyclingacademy.com