- On the last big climb Jan did not feel too good; he was a bit tired after first three stages. Yeah, he is still missing the racing rhythm because of a long break and after 3 very hard stages he felt a bit empty today. It is a pity to lose some good seconds, but we still have one stage and, for sure, we will try something tomorrow. Anyway, as I said before, our main goal here is to check our Giro roster and so far I see our riders are on the right way. Today our team did a good job, especially, on the descent and on the final part. We still have a few weeks to the Giro d’Italia and I think, the riders, who will come there to support Miguel Angel Lopez, will be ready for the race, - said Giuseppe Martinelli, sports director of Astana.
It was another hard and fast mountain stage at the Tour of the Alps. After start in Baselga di Pinè, the peloton passed two big climbs before finish in Cles (134 km). Andrey Zeits did part of the daily breakaway, which has been caught with 4 km to the top of the last big climb Passo Predaia. Right in that moment, four riders went away to open a good gap over the chasers, including Jan Hirt. On the descent from Passo Predaia Astana Pro Team did its best to help Hirt to come back in the leading group and almost succeed, cutting the gap to just 8 seconds, but it was not enough to bring the escapers back. On a short but steep climb four leaders attacked again to increase their advantage and, finally, to play the stage, won by Tao Geoghegan Hart ahead of Vincenzo Nibali, Rafal Majka and Pavel Sivakov. The group of Jan Hirt finished 40 seconds behind the stage leader.
With only one stage to go Sivakov still keeps the lead, while Astana’s Hirt is now 5th overall, 48 seconds behind.
The final stage of the race will be held tomorrow between Caldaro and Bolzano with a total distance of 148.7 km.
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