- It was an easy day until we decided to catch the breakaway. We didn’t want any damage in the general classification after the first stage, and we hoped that the climbs during the stage could hurt the peloton. But at the end the climbs were too easy and it ended up with a sprint. I wouldn’t say we did it for nothing at the end, because today we showed that we’re strong and confident, - told Jakob Fuglsang after the race.
The first stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol brought the peloton from Mijas to Granada in a 197,6 km-long race with three climbs (two 3rd cat., one 2nd cat.). After a hard start in the first part of the stage, five riders made it into the breakaway. These riders got a maximum advantage of 5 minutes on the peloton, but going into the final 40 kilometers the Astana Pro Team riders took the lead in the peloton to close the gap.
In just 28 km they closed the gap, going into the final 12 km with the peloton. After two counter-attacks, the peloton prepared for the bunch sprint. Thomas Boudat crossed the finish line in first position, Luis Leon Sanchez was the first Astana Pro Team rider at 22th place.
- We did not expect too much from this stage, so we did not have any great plan beside to stay all together, to be attentive and focus in any moment of the race. But later there was a break with around 5 minutes. It was a dangerous situation, so with around 30 km to go we decided to take the race under control. Also, we knea about the last climb and we hoped it might me a hard one for a selection in group. Maybe, we could come with 30 riders to the finish and Sanchez or Moser could try something in sprint. But, as we saw, it did not happen and the climb was not hard at all. Anyway, the stage and the work of the whole team was a good point for us, for our confidence and motivation ahead of the next stages, - said sports director Cenghialta Bruno.
Tomorrow will be a day for the GC-riders, with an uphill finish (1st cat.) in La Guardia de Jaén after a 140-km long stage.
Photo credit: Bettiniphoto