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Tour of Almaty. Stage 1. Stalnov and Natarov finished in Top 10 at the opening stage

The first stage of Tour of Almaty finished today in the industrial park of Kazakhstan largest city Almaty with a sprint from breakaway group won by Polish rider Patryk Stosz.

Astana Pro Team riders Nikita Stalnov and Yuriy Natarov finished in Top 10, at the sixth and ninth place, respectively. Dmitry Gruzdev who was also in the first group finished at the 12th place.

- Our goal today was to try to attack and gain some seconds for our main leaders for the overall victory tomorrow. We had three riders in a breakaway, two of them have good chances in general classification. The guys did a good job, we gained around 40 seconds over main peloton. So we are waiting for the second stage and the last climb tomorrow, which will be decisive for the race, - commented sports director Assan Bazayev.

According to the results of the first stage, Dmitry Gruzdev takes 4th place in the general classification, Nikita Stalnov and Yuri Natarov are also in the top ten overall standings before the decisive mountain stage tomorrow.

- Today we were trying to work for our three riders – Nikita Stalnov, Zhandos Bizhigitov and Yuriy Natarov. The tactic was to keep them ahead in case of breakaway, as these three riders are in good conditions and could fight at tomorrow’s mountain stage. In case of bunch sprint we had our Yevgeniy Gidich. The distance was not so long, all teams were waiting for our actions, we were trying to attack, both as a team and individually. Finally, at two laps to the finish, a group of 12-14 riders attacked, we were three riders from our team there, and this suited us. We completed the minimum task, took our leaders to the breakaway group, the maximum task - to win the stage - did not work out a little. I punctured the rear wheel, so the finish did not work out for me, - said Dmitriy Gruzdev after the finish.

Tomorrow is a second and last stage of the race with an uphill finish to the famous high-mountain skating rink Medeu, which will decide the outcome of the Tour of Almaty 2019.

Photo: Kazakhstan Cycling Federation

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