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Vuelta a España. Stage 3. Solid 5th place for Aleksandr Vlasov atop La Laguna Negra

After suffering on the opening stage to Arrate Aleksandr Vlasov keeps on improving his form day by day. Already yesterday the Astana Pro Team leader showed his legs, finishing shortly after the main GC favorites, while today, at the third stage of the Vuelta a España Aleksandr Vlasov spent a solid day on the road, attacking inside the final kilometer to the top of La Laguna Negra de Vinuesa and, finally, finishing 5th in the group of the red jersey.

- I felt quite good today, the legs worked well, and I was able to stay with the strongest riders until the end. I am still not on my top form, but I hope I can keep on progressing during the next days and weeks. I tried to attack in the end, but the rivals caught me back before playing the stage in an uphill sprint. It was a hard and cold day on the road, but in general I can be happy with my performance today. I will do this race day by day without pressure and we will see what happens in the final, - said Aleksandr Vlasov.

- The team did a very good stage today. There was a forecast for a strong crosswind on the distance, so we were ready for it, staying in front in the right moment. But the wind was not as strong as it was predicted, so nothing really happened today. However, the team showed a very good motivation and team spirit. On the final climb we saw Aleksandr Vlasov staying really well in the leading group and his 5th place today makes us happy. We lost a lot at the first stage, but we will keep on fighting because there are many hard days ahead and we have a very strong team, - said Dmitriy Fofonov, sports manager of Astana Pro Team.

The third stage of the Vuelta a España started in Lodosa and after 166.1 km finished atop the first category climb La Laguna Negra de Vinuesa. It was a cold day with some rain during the stage.

The daily breakaway has been caught back at the bottom of the last climb, while later after a strong acceleration just a small group of GC contenders remained up there in front of the race. Supported by the teammates Aleksandr Vlasov was able to join that group. Inside the last kilometer the Astana rider tried to attack, but the rivals came across him to play the stage in an uphill sprint: Dan Martin won ahead of Primoz Roglic and Richard Carapaz.

The Slovenian Primoz Roglic still leads the race, while Aleksandr Vlasov is currently 23rd, +5.42 behind the leader. Gorka Izagirre is still the best Astana Pro Team rider in the general classification with 19th position (+3.37).

Stage 4 of the race will be held tomorrow: 191.7 km from Garray to Ejea de los Caballeros.

Photo credit: © Getty Images

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