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Vuelta a Burgos. Stage 3. Miguel Angel Lopez is 5th atop Picón Blanco

Astana leader Miguel Angel Lopez finished 5th on the top of the special category climb Picón Blanco, which crowned the third stage of the Vuelta a Burgos. Astana did a very strong race, giving its best to support Lopez.

- We did this stage as we planned before start. In the final, our team did a great job for the leader. On the last climb Miguel gave all he could for this moment to get the maximal result. He showed his fighting spirit until the very last meters of the distance. Anyway, the only thing which counts now, is our preparation for the Vuelta a España. So, from this point of view, Astana did a very good stage today, - explained sports director Bruno Cenghialta.

The third stage of the race started in Oja Guareña and finished in Espinosa de los Monteros atop the hardest climb Picón Blanco (7,8 km, 9,1% average, 18% maximal). On the climb it was Sky, who increased the race of the group, followed by Astana riders: Jesper Hansen and Sergei Chernetckii stayed close to Miguel Angel Lopez until last 3,5 km to go.

With 3 km to go a several attacks in front split the group, creating a leading group of five riders with Miguel Angel Lopez among them.

In the final, after another attack Mikel Landa and David De La Cruz broke away to play the stage with Landa taking the stage win. Lopez finished fifth 55 seconds behind the winner. Hansen and Chernetckii finished at 11th and 13th places, respectively.

- It was a hard day, especially, the final climb. Our team was really good, I had a great support from Nikita Stalnov, Pello Bilbao, Jesper Hansen and Sergei Chernetckii. They all did a very strong race. I did my best on the climb, but missed a bit. Anyway, I tried and was there in the final. We still have one more hard stage on Saturday, and I am looking forward on this day, - said Miguel Angel Lopez.

Landa holds the overall classification, while Miguel Angel Lopez moved up to 5th, +1.02. Chernetckii is 10th (+1.42), Hansen is 12th (+1.52).

Astana moved into the lead in the team’s classification of the race.

Tomorrow the fourth stage of the Vuelta a Burgos will be held: 147 km from Bodegas Nabal (Gumiel de Izan) to Ciudad Romana de Clunia.

Photo credit: © Bettiniphoto

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