Alexey Rybalkin showed just what a star he is in the making by soloing to take out the final stage of the Vuelta al Bidasoa earlier today and cantering to the overall win. Naturgas Energía's Víctor Etxeberria ended up a highly impressive eighth and won the "Best Basque" - category.
The fourth and final stage, the short, taxing and traditional 78,4km ride from and to Irún, saw Naturgas' Alain González animate the racing with a sortie off the front. He was naturally brought back, though, and there was no stopping the 18-year-old Russian in his search for a second stage win, and the Lokosphinx rider went on to triumph in some style by crossing the line 19 seconds ahead of a select chase group. Frenchman Quentin Pacher (fifth yesterday) brought home the group ahead of Extramadura Spiuk's Adrián Alvarado. Etxeberria came in among a strong 17-man group a further ten seconds back to move up to seventh on GC.
Rybalkin naturally won the "Best rider sub-20", with Etxeberria taking second there to complete an excellent week of racing for him.
Stage four results:
- 1, Alexey Rybalkin (Lokosphinx), 2:05:48
- 2, Quentin Pacher (Entente Sud Gascogne), 0:19
- 3, Adrián Alvaredo (Extramadura Spiuk), s.t.
- 4, Iñigo Ojeda (Koplad-Uni2), s.t.
- 5, Mario González (Gomur Ferroat), s.t.
- 23, Víctor Etxeberria, 0:29
- 43, Jon Larrinaga, 1:40
- 52, Mikel Iturria, s.t.
- 68, Alain González, 5:26
- 84, Damien García, 13:14 (technically finished outside the time limit - no GC placing for him)
- DNF: Imanol Estévez
Final general classification:
- 1, Alexey Rybalkin (Lokosphinx), 10:23:12
- 2, Víctor Martín (Diptuación Ávila - Smilekers), 1:05
- 3, Pavel Ptashkin (Lokosphinx), 2:00
- 4, Rubén Martínez (Super Froiz), 2:38
- 5, Cristobal Sánchez (Seguros Bilbao), 2:46
- 8, Víctor Etxeberria, 2:50
- 21, Jon Larrinaga, 4:31
- 46, Mikel Iturria, 15:13
- 66, Alain González, 25:58