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Santos Tour Down Under. Stage 3. Luis Leon Sanchez takes second place

Luis Leon Sanchez took the first podium place in 2019 season, finishing second at stage 3 of the Santos Tour Down Under. The Astana Pro Team rider was close to a victory, sprinting against Peter Sagan at the finish line in Uraidla and, finally, missing just a little to become first.

- A very hot day, so the stage was really tough with some fast pace from the start and a difficult profile in the second part. In the end, I did my best, but when you sprint against Sagan and if he is in a good shape, it is difficult to beat him. So, I am quite happy with my performance today. Of course, I am still not in 100% form right now and I am moving through this race day by day. So, let’s see, where I can reach in the end of this week. Today, we did a good race as a team, I had a great support during the whole day, so I could save some energy for the final part, - explained Luis Leon Sanchez.

It was another hot day in South Australia with a group of 7 riders creating the breakaway of the day. One more time Astana Pro Team made its presence in the break, this time delegating Manuele Boaro, who did a good race, taking some mountain points and moving up to the second place in the mountain classification as result of the stage. Also, Boaro was named as the most aggressive rider of this stage.

The second part of 146-km-long distance was a hard one with 7 local laps and many short but steep climbs. The last 5 km were especially fast and intense because of a number of attacks from the main group. Astana’s Luis Leon Sanchez was always in front, getting a good position entering the final kilometer of the race. He launched a powerful sprint, but nearly missed to beat ex-triple World Champion Peter Sagan.

- Indeed, Luis Leon was very close. He did a good sprint, but maybe Peter Sagan was a bit stronger today. But anyway, we did a solid race with Manuele Boaro in the break and Luis Leon Sanchez in the final, coming closer and closer in this race. The weather here in Australia still is a factor, today again was very hot and it is not easy to race in these conditions. But, we keep on fighting and we are looking forward to the next stages, - said Lars Michaelasen, sports director of Astana Pro Team.

After the third stage of the Santos Tour Down Under, Luis Leon Sanchez moved up to 3rd position in the overall standing, having 9 seconds to the race leader Patrick Bevin.

Stage 4 will be held tomorrow: Unley – Campbelltown, 129,2 km.

Photo credit: © Tim De Waele/Getty Images

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