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Vuelta a Andalucia. Stage 3. Strong performance of Astana in time trial with 2nd, 3rd and 7th places of Fuglsang, Izagirre and Bilbao

Astana Pro Team did an impressive individual time trial at the third stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol, delivering 3 riders in the Top-10 of the stage with two of them on the stage podium: Jakob Fuglsang finished second, Ion Izagirre did third, while Pello Bilbao took 7th place.

- I just gave my all today. Can’t say that this time trial suited me very well, it was quite short and explosive. I’d prefer to have longer climbs, but today there were just two hard but short climbs in the beginning and in the end and a long and fast downhill in the middle. It is a pity I did not win, because I was really close today. But, we still have one very hard stage tomorrow and as we saw today, we have a very strong team. We will try to do something in the queen stage, - said Jakob Fuglsang.

- I can be happy with the way I did this TT. I did my best, but, it was not enough to win the stage. But, the feelings are good, and I think we are ready to challenge our rivals tomorrow, - added Ion Izagirre.

- It was a good race for me, I am good at the downhill, so today I took maximum on the descent and later on the flat part just before the last climb. I am happy with my performance but also I am happy to see my teammates doing a strong race as well. We will see, what we can do tomorrow, - said Pello Bilbao.

The 3rd stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia has been held today between Mancha Real and La Guardia de Jaén. It was a challenging individual time trial of 16,2 km with two difficult climbs and one long and very fast downhill. Firstly, Pello Bilbao marked a very good time at the finish, showing the second best result. Later, it was Ion Izagirre, who was able to set the new best time, finishing the distance in 22 minutes and 34 seconds. But, very shortly, Jakob Fuglsang finished with the new best time – 22.27. And only the current leader Tim Wellens could beat this numbers by just 2 seconds.

Ahead of the tomorrow queen stage Wellens leads the race having 7 seconds of advantage to Fuglsang and 14 seconds to Izagirre. Bilbao is 6th overall, 28 seconds behind the leader.

Stage 4 will be held tomorrow: 119,9 km from Armilla to Granada.

Photo credit: © Getty Images

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