Astana’s Izagirre 13th in Vuelta a España Stage 1
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM - The Vuelta a España 2020 has started today with a demanding stage from Irun to the iconic climb Arrate in Eibar (173 km). With four climbs in the menu, including the final 5-km-long accent to Arrate the stage immediately became a battlefield for the GC-contenders, Kazinform has learnt from the club’s press service.
An acceleration in the main group with some 5 km to the finish line created a group of 8 leaders who played the stage victory: the 2019 Vuelta champion Primoz Roglic won ahead of Richard Carapaz and Dan Martin.
Gorka Izagirre became the best performer of Astana Pro Team, finishing 13th in the first chasing group, 51 seconds behind the winner.
It was not the best day for two Astana climbers, Aleksandr Vlasov and Ion Izagirre. Both riders are coming back to racing after health problems: Ion Izagirre is recovering after his crash at the Tour de France, while Vlasov is making his comeback after stomach problems at the beginning of the Giro d’Italia.
«Our GC riders, Aleksandr and Ion are still on their way to recover completely after different health problems. So, we started this Vuelta considering two plans, general classification and stages. The training numbers of both riders were good, but in such a hard opening stage like today you never know. Of course, you have to be 100% ready to be able to answer to the challenge of the rivals. Well, the first plan did not work out, so now we will switch to the plan B and during the race we will be aiming the stage wins. However, Vlasov lost four minutes and a half, so, if he feels better during the next stages and be able to follow the leaders, we will support him in fighting for the best possible position in his first full Grand tour. I think we have a very strong and well-balanced team here and we can reach some really nice results at this Vuelta a España,» said Dmitriy Fofonov, sports manager of Astana Pro Team.
Tomorrow the race will continue with the second stage: 151.6 km from Pamplona to Lekunberri. It will be another demanding race with three climbs on the distance.