Today, the 66th edition of the Vuelta a Andalucía had its final big showdown with a 13km short time trial in the city of Mijas.
The first Astana rider, who left the start ramp was Dmitriy Gruzdev. He finished the course after around 20 minutes. Also, Nikita Stalnov, Hugo Houle and Vadim Pronskiy crossed the line with the clock stopping after around 18 minutes.
The second last rider from the Kazakh team was Ion Izagirre. He rode a solid race by finishing the course 17 seconds behind the later stage winner Teuns, which saw him take fourth place in the general classification at the end of the day.
Jakob Fuglsang, leader of the race, went up the road as the last rider of the day, at 15:20 and put in a strong performance. The Danish rider set the second-best time at the intermediate checkpoint and crossed the line after 17:57 minutes to take second only 0.8 seconds behind Teuns. With two stage wins, Jakob Fuglsang made it back-to-back wins at the Ruta del Sol, winning the race two years in a row.
-It was a good time trial and, in the end, it was super close. I am really happy that I could repeat my overall win here. It’s amazing to start the season by winning this race again. Last year I had the best season of my career so far and I hope that repeating this win means I can do the same again. It’s been a very hard race and we had a lot of hard competition to defend the jersey from the first day but the team has been amazing. I am the winner but so is the team. Of course, for me it was important to keep the jersey but with a short and intense TT, you have to give everything and I didn’t want to take to many risks on the descent so to finish second, I am really happy. I hope it will be a good season and starting like this with a good result here gives me confidence and I can now work towards my next goals. – Jakob Fuglsang
-We are super happy. We came here to defend the title and we did. The team did an amazing job the whole week. Jakob but also the whole team trained hard over the winter months and it paid off. Today’s time trial was short and intense but once again Jakob but also Ion showed a strong performance. Missing the win only by a tenth of seconds is hard, but this year’s edition of the Vuelta a Andalucía had a strong line up. But all in all, we are more than happy to start the season like that. – Alexandr Shefer
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