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Giro d’Italia. Stage 1. Solid 6th place for Pello Bilbao in Jerusalem

Astana’s Pello Bilbao made a very impressive result in today’s opening stage 1 in Jerusalem. Bilbao did a strong individual time trial of 9,7 km, finishing with provisional second best time, just 16 seconds behind the Australian Rohan Dennis, the leader of that moment. Finally, Astana’s rider took a solid 6th place in the stage, 18 seconds far from the last year’s pink jersey and today stage winner Tom Dumoulin, who passed the distance in 12 minutes and 2 seconds.

- I am pretty happy and even a bit surprised with my performance today. I think, this is a good result for me. When I did a recon this morning, I thought it could be a good stage for me since the route suited much my characteristics. So, I just gave my all on the distance, tried to go hard into the climbs and to take some seconds for recovery on the descents. It went pretty well and I finished with a good time. So, a nice start of the Giro for me, - explained Pello Bilbao.

The daily podium of stage 1 was completed by Rohan Dennis and the European champion Victor Campenaerts.

The Astana Pro Team leader Miguel Angel Lopez, unfortunately, crashed during the morning training. Hopefully, he avoided any serious injures and still was able to do a good race, but, of course, that crash has impacted in some way his performance in the individual time trial. Finally, Lopez lost 56 seconds to Dumoulin, but in the same time did not lose too much to other GC contenders.

- Yeah, we had a small road accident in the morning, Miguel Angel has crashed in a corner. But, everything ended without big consequences. He is ok and I think he did a good race. Of course, we were expected a bit different result for him, but I don’t think there is any tragedy in it. It was just the beginning of the race. I am happy with Pello Bilbao, he was very strong today. So, the Giro has started, let’s go on! – added sports director Dmitri Sedoun.

Stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia will be held tomorrow: 167 km from Haifa to Tel Aviv.

Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto

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