Astana’s Fuglsang wins Vuelta a Andalucia opening stage
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM - The Danish rider started his season by taking an incredible stage win on Grazalema with a lead of six seconds over his former breakaway companion. Jakob Fuglsang now leads the overall ranking as well as the sprint and mountain classification. Teammate Ion Izagirre crossed the line in a strong sixth place, Kazinform has learnt from the club’s press service.
Today, the 66th edition of the Vuelta a Andalucía, also known as Ruta del Sol, kicked off with a 174 km tough stage. The stage started in Alhaurin de la Torre and offered four category 3 climbs and one category one climb, the Puerto de las Palomas, before the riders crossed the finish line in Grazalema.
After some kilometers of racing a group of riders formed today’s breakaway and had a lead of several minutes over the bunch. After a while, the group became bigger and the gap opened up to three minutes, while Astana was working at the front of the peloton.
As expected, it came all down to the decisive last ascent of the day, seven kilometers ahead of the finish line. With the gap dropping steadily the breakaway was caught with 15 km to go.
The race headed onto the final climb of the day, as Mikkel Landa attacked but Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang followed him. Together they opened up a tight gap. In a nail-biting finale, Jakob overtook Landa in the last meters and went to glory with a six second gap over his former breakaway companion. The Danish rider took his first season win and now leads the general, sprint and mountain classification at the Ruta de Sol.
«I am really happy to take the win. It is always nice to start the season with a win and I like Vuelta a Andalucía. The team did an amazing job and as Landa attacked we knew we couldn’t wait so I followed him and on the last meters I just went. The stage was not easy with all that climbing and luckily, it did not start to rain. It will be difficult to defend the jersey as we have just 6 riders here but of course we will do our best. I want to thank my whole team for their support, this victory means a lot to me, I was really motivated to achieve a good result today,» said Jakob Fuglsang after his first season win.
«Congratulations, Alexandr Shefer was today the Directeur Sportive. The stage was not easy, also the weather played an important role today. The whole team did a stellar job, controlling the race and protecting Jakob for the final climb. Especially the finale was not easy with all the attacks. We are really happy about our win today, Jakob and the whole team were great. Andalusia is always a difficult race, with many demanding stages, therefore we are already looking on tomorrow’s stage,» said Giuseppe Martinelli