Astana’s riders spend active day in Vuelta a España Stage 2
NUR-SULTAN. KAZINFORM - Astana Pro Team spent a very active day at the second stage of the Vuelta a España (Pamplona – Lekunberri, 151.6 km). Firstly, Ion Izagirre, Omar Fraile and Alex Aranburu all tried to attack to go in a breakaway. Finally, it was Aranburu, who succeed: he followed the right group and, in the end, found himself in a good break of 5 riders, Kazinform has learnt from the club’s press service.
«It was our plan to try to fight for a stage from a breakaway. So, from the start me, Ion and Omar all tried to escape. In the end, it was me, who joined the right group and went away. I felt well and I think it was a nice opportunity to try to win the stage, but the peloton never gave us too much space and Movistar Team worked too strong behind. Well, however I am happy with my day today, for sure, I will look for some more chances,» said Alex Aranburu.
On the slopes of the last climb of the day Alto de San Miguel Aralar (9.5 km, 7.9%) the break, finally, has been caught back by the group of the red jersey. Shortly after that it was Luis Leon Sanchez who launched a powerful attack, opening a 23-second gap. Sanchez stayed clear in front of the race until the last two kilometers of the climb, when the rivals came across him.
Coming back to the group, Luis Leon Sanchez provided his help to Aleksandr Vlasov, who felt much better today. Supported by Sanchez and also by Gorka Izagirre, Vlasov finished the stage in the first chasing group, 40 seconds behind the red jersey group. This result allowed the Astana Pro Team rider to move up to 24th position in the general classification.
«The stage looked pretty good for the breakaway, so we wanted to try something today. We knew the last climb and I think Alex Aranburu, who spent a nice day in front, had legs to pass it through and to fight for a stage win. But, in the end of the day the peloton controlled the escapers and the gap never was really big. That’s how it was, but the stage makes me quite optimistic because the team did a very good job. Also, Aleksandr Vlasov after yesterday problem improved a lot. We did not push him today and just asked to do the last climb by his own rhythm. Looks like he is recovering step by step, so we will have an eye on the situation in the general classification in the following stages. Today I saw all guys very motivated, so we will keep on fighting on every stage,» added Dmitriy Fofonov.
When the red jersey group caught back Luis Leon Sanchez, the favorites crossed the top of the climb all together, while on the descent the Spaniard Marc Soled made a solo attack, which brought him the debut stage win at La Vuelta. The red jersey Primoz Roglic finished second 19 seconds later, while Dan Martin closed the daily podium with third position.
Roglic keeps his overall lead at the Vuelta a España, while Gorka Izagirre is the best Astana rider in the general classification with the 14th place (+1.49).
Stage 3 of the race will be held tomorrow: 166.1 km from Lodosa to La Laguna Negra de Vinuesa.