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Vuelta a España. Stage 18. Aleksandr Vlasov is 11th on his debut full Grand tour

Aleksandr Vlasov finished 11th in the final general classification of the Vuelta a España. The Spanish race became the first ever full Grand tour for Astana Pro Team rider after he had to abandon the Giro d’Italia during the second stage due to gastroenteritis.

Vlasov spent a very solid race, being in front with all the main favorites at every mountain stage. At the queen stage with the finish atop Alto de l’Angliru Aleksandr was really close to a victory, taking a solid second place. Also, he was 4th atop Alto de Montcalvillo, 5th on La Laguna Negra de Vinuesa and 6th atop Alto de la Farrapona. 

- I really liked the Vuelta a España! It is a great race and I am so happy to do it and also to finish it! I am grateful to the team for bringing me here after my abandon at the Giro due to health problem. I can say that I’ve got a valuable experience at my first full Grand tour and I am sure this will help me to keep on developing as a professional rider. It was great to compete against the best climbers and to stay next to them at the hardest climbs of the race. I hope to come back here with some bigger ambitions, - said Aleksandr Vlasov.

- We are quite satisfied with the way we did this Vuelta a España and with the results we have achieved here. Aleksandr made a strong debut and he was impressive, staying with the biggest contenders at every mountain stage, attacking and fighting for a stage win. At the start he still was recovering after his illness, so Aleksandr began La Vuelta without stress and with a goal to get some good experience of a three-week race. With the experience he’s got here, I am sure he will become stronger. Also, I am happy and proud with the whole team we had here in Spain. We had a really nice group of riders, who worked perfectly together, supporting and helping each other. In the end, we performed really strong, we won a stage, three times we were very close for another success, also we took a number of Top-10 placements. It is a pity we missed the Top-10 in the overall classification, but in general we did a solid Vuelta and it was a very beautiful final of this strange and difficult season. Indeed, it was a hard year for everyone, but our team managed to pass it through and to keep on staying on the winning way. Despite all difficulties, we spent a strong season with a number of important victories. We did all three Grand tour and it was a key moment for the whole world of cycling. I would like to thank our main partner Samruk-Kazyna and also Premier Tech as well as all our sponsors and partners for supporting us during this tough year, - said Dmitriy Fofonov, sports manager of Astana Pro Team. 

Today at the Vuelta a España has been held the last, 18th stage of the race: the peloton passed 139.6 km from Hipodromo de la Zarzuela to Madrid. The stage ended with a bunch sprint, won by Pascal Ackermann.

The Slovenian Primoz Roglic won the Vuelta a España for the second time in a row. Richard Carapaz and Hugh Carthy completed the race podium with second and third places, respectively.

Photo credit: © Getty Images

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