Astana's Lopez 3rd in La Vuelta final classification
ASTANA. KAZINFORM - The leader of Astana Pro Team, Miguel Angel Lopez, reached his second Grand Tour podium with finishing 3rd in the final general classification of the Vuelta Ciclista a España 2018, ended today in the city center of Madrid, Kazinform has learnt from the club's press service.
"I am more than happy with this result. Coming into the second Grand Tour in a season, I did not know what to expect since I did not experience this before. The Giro d'Italia gave me a lot of confidence in myself as well as in my team, which supported me really well in Italy, bringing me on the podium in Rome. So, here in La Vuelta we decided to move on day by day trying to reach as high as possible. For sure, it was a super difficult race and we had to stay concentrated during all the three weeks, but finally, we did it! I want to thank the whole Astana Pro Team for absolutely fantastic support. It is our common success. It is really great to achieve a second Grand Tour podium in the same year, it is a big result for me. I felt strong during the race and, of course, I wanted to win a stage so much. Three times I was so close for a win, finishing second, but from the other hand I knew, if I aim for the stage results, I could miss the final podium, which was my biggest goal. I am so happy to step on the podium here in Madrid! It is a special season for me!" said Miguel Angel Lopez.
On the podium in evening Madrid Miguel Angel Lopez joined the Britton Simon Yates, who became the overall winner of the race and the Spaniard Enric Mas, second in the general classification.
"This season Astana proved we are the team with big ambitions in the Grand tours. It is our way in cycling and we enjoy it. We can be proud with the results we reached in the season with two big podiums in the Giro and now in the Vuelta. This is a good result for our young leaders but also for the whole team, which demonstrated its strength during this month, we raced really well as a team. We worked hard for the leader and we saved the full team until the very last day! I congratulate all guys with the final podium in Madrid!" said general manager Alexandr Vinokurov.
The final stage 21 ended with a well predicted massive sprint on the streets of Madrid, won by the Italian Champion Elia Viviani, followed by Peter Sagan and Giacomo Nizzolo. Astana Pro Team did an active race, even today, attacking and trying to break away with Nikita Stalnov, who was in the break just in front of the peloton during the stage, and sprinting in the final with Omar Fraile, who finished 15th.