Astana Cycling Team (Italy) – What could be better than another beautiful victory in the race? Today, Luis Leon Sanchez brought to Astana Team the third victory at this Tour of the Alps, taking a nice solo win on the streets of Austrian city of Lienz.
"Today everything went super. We had a very strong team and it was a key of our success. The guys did a fantastic job, controlling the race and following all the attacks. Firstly, it was Davide Villella in the break, and later we had Miguel Angel Lopez, Pello Bilbao and Nikita Stalnov, who were very attentive to all moves of the rivals. Yesterday we did a good race as well, but something went wrong in the end despite a huge help of my teammates, especially, Miguel Angel. Today, in the final I knew I have to attack to win the stage. I did it for a few times, on the downhill and later inside the last two kilometers. The second time it worked well, and I could get a small gap, enough to win. I am happy with this victory since it gives me motivation and confirms I am in the right place for the Giro. Also, the whole team is strong and ready for the Giro d’Italia", said super happy Luis Leon Sanchez.
It was another warm day at the Tour of the Alps with a fast start in Klausen. For some time nobody could break away, but after the first climb, finally, a group of 9 riders went away with Astana’s Davide Villella inside this break.
Villella did a good and brave race and was able to stay in front until almost the bottom of the final climb of the day Bannberg. There were several attacks from the group of GC favorites, Astana Team had Pello Bilbao and Nikita Stalnov among the attackers.
Anyway, to the top of the last climb all GC favorites came together. A few riders, including Luis Leon Sanchez, tried to escape on the descent, but the winning move came from Sanchez, who attacked with 2 km to go to win this stage.
George Bennett finished second, while the Dutch rider Koen Bouwman did third. Astana’s leader Miguel Angel Lopez finished 7th and Pello Bilbao was 9th.
The French rider Thibaut Pinot still leads the general classification with only one stage to go. Miguel Angel Lopez holds his 3rd place, 15 seconds behind the leader. Luis Leon Sanchez is 6th in the overall (+1.06), while Jan Hirt is 10th (+1.55).
Stage 5 of the race will be held tomorrow: 164,2 km from Rattenberg to Innsbruck. A part of the stage will be held on the circuit of the 2018 Road World Championships.
Photo credit: ©Bettiniphoto.