Vuelta a Andalucia. Stage 1. Solid 2nd and 3rd for Astana's Fuglsang and Izagirre
ASTANA. KAZINFORM Astana Pro Team had a very good start at the prestigious Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol with the finish of the first stage atop short but very steep cobbled climb in Alcalá de los Gazules. Jakob Fuglsang and Ion Izagirre both finished on the podium (2nd place for Fuglsang and 3rd place for Izagirre), while Pello Bilbao did 6th.
"In the first part of the final climb it was so strong head wind. I had a good position and I was able to come in front in the middle of the climb. I saw the attack of Ion and I tried to pull out, but later Tim Wellens went away and it was hard to follow him in that moment. I lost speed a bit going into the last steep part, but later I was able to come back and to finish second. So, it is one more second place for me, but in general I can be happy with this stage. The feeling was good, so we will see in the next days," explained Jakob Fuglsang.
"We did a good race as we controlled well the breakaway together with a few other teams. So, we were ready for the final while there we just gave our best. There was a strong head wind on the final climb, so it was impossible to attack in the beginning of the climb. But, the team stayed strong, we had a very good position in front. With 500 meters I tried to attack, but later Tim Wellens passed me. He was just stronger today. However, I can be happy with the stage and my performance. It was just the first stage and I finished really close, just 5 seconds to Wellens. Of course, you are always looking for a victory, but we still have four days in this race, so we will keep of fighting," said Ion Izagirre.
The first stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia took start in Sanlúcar de Barramed and after 170,5 km finished atop a very steep climb which leads to the town center of Alcalá de los Gazules. Astana Pro Team worked very well leading the peloton and chasing the breakaway, which has been caught closer to the finish. The Kazakh team led its leaders to the final climb, providing them with the best position before the last kilometer. Jakob Fuglsang, Pello Bilbao and Ion Izagirre all were in front of the group, fighting for the stage, but the last winner of Vuelta a Andalucia Tim Wellens was a bit stronger today, taking the stage win and the leadership in this race, Astana Pro Team's official website reads.
Stage 2 of the race will be held tomorrow: 216,5 km from Sevilla to Torredonjimeno.