- We did not expect too big selection today, because on the paper the profile did not look too hard. Anyway, we decided to control the stage from the start, so together with Team Sky and Bahrain Merida we worked in front of the peloton all day long. On the last climb of the day there was an attack of Vincenzo Nibali and three more riders, but we managed to close the gap on the descent. On the climb quite a good selection has been made, so there was a reduced group coming together to the finish line. Inside the final few kilometers Dario Cataldo and Pello Bilbao tried to attack, but, finally, the stage was decided in sprint. In the end of the day we have two riders in Top-10. We have a good team here at the race and, of course, we will try to fight for a high result in the general classification. But, however, the main goal is to use this race as the final step in our preparation for the Giro d’Italia. The main part of the team is going to support Miguel Angel Lopez at the Giro and we are looking forward to come to this race in our best conditions, - explained Giuseppe Martinelli, sports director of Astana Pro Team.
After the breakaway of the day has been caught, Astana increased the pace in the main group immediately from the bottom of the last climb of the distance. Later, four riders attacked to open a gap of 10-15 seconds. However, Astana Pro Team continued pushing hard in front of the reduced group and, finally closed the gap with some 4 km to go. Despite several late attacks nobody could get an advantage and, thus, everything in this stage was decided in a sprint, won by the Britton Tao Geoghegan Hart ahead of Alex Aranburu, Roland Thalmann, Pello Bilbao and Nikita Stalnov.
The second stage of the race will be held tomorrow: 178.7 km from Reith im Alpbachtal to Schenna/Scena.
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