Astana hogged the highest 3 spots on degree 1 of the Vuelta Ciclista a l. a. Región de Murcia with Pello Bibao taking the honours after a overdue assault, and teammates Omar Fraile and Luis Leon Sanchez finishing the set. International champion, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), completed fourth within the bunch dash to the road, whilst Bilbao leads the race with one degree to move.
The day belonged to Astana, who stuck the early damage, set a livid tempo at the ultimate incline after which introduced assaults, first thru Leon Sanchez, then Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang, and in the end thru degree winner Bilbao, who got here into the race with sturdy shape after a up to date 3rd position general in Valenciana. It was once the 28-year-old’s first win for the reason that penultimate degree of closing yr’s Criterium du Dauphine.
“This can be a really nice victory for me! In truth, it was once no longer simple to do the decisive transfer as of late, as it was once intended to be an afternoon for sprinters,” Bilbao stated in a press unencumber issued through his group.
“Now we have speedy guys within the group, however possibly no longer for the natural dash. So, this was once the explanation we made up our minds to do the closing climb in point of fact exhausting to check out to scale back the gang to have extra alternatives within the ultimate. The group did an outstanding paintings at the climb and we didn’t be expecting to create any such small main staff. Anyway, we made up our minds to proceed going 100% till the end line. In spite of everything, once we learned we arrive on this staff, we began to assault pondering on degree victory. Luis Leon did an overly sturdy assault, exhausting to apply, however Alejandro Valverde may shut the distance. Straight away, Jakob made his assault, however he additionally was once stuck. My assault was once the 3rd one and I may get a small hole, which made me imaginable to reach by myself on the end. So, needless to say, it was once an outstanding group paintings and wonderful group technique at as of late’s degree. We will be able to be proud with the end result,” Bilbao added.
The win represented Astana’s 2d victory of the season after new signing Ion Izagirre gained the full name in Valenciana.
Luis Leon Sanchez, now 35, has been a persistently top performer for the reason that season began in January with the Excursion Down Underneath. The veteran rider picked up 4 most sensible ten placings – and fourth general – in Australia after which returned to Eu racing in Valenciana with some other 3rd position on degree three sooner than serving to Izagirre to victory.
Fraile best made his season debut in Valenciana this month however his 2d position on degree 1 was once a company indication that his situation is bettering as he seems to be forward to races such because the UAE Excursion and Tirreno-Adriatico, the place he’ll goal degree wins.
“In fact, I’m pleased with this group good fortune! That is one thing nice!” an delighted Fraile stated within the group’s unencumber.
“The primary part of the race was once moderately calm, whilst we higher the tempo at the climb. The crowd cut up in portions and lets pass away. All of us labored in point of fact exhausting in our main staff to stay the merit. Within the ultimate Luis Leon attacked first, however later Pello counterattacked and really speedy were given a couple of meters of merit. It was once a pleasant transfer, which introduced him a degree victory. And, within the dash we simply did our easiest. The primary factor is that our group is having a look very cast, we’re in excellent shape and ok with the best way the race began for us. Day after today can be a difficult day, so, we will be able to stay on preventing.”
The second one and ultimate degree of Murcia takes position on Saturday.