Astana Cycling Team (Spain) - Astana Pro Team has successfully ended its first European race of the 2019, scoring the first seasonal victory. In the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, finished today in Valencia, Astana brought two riders on the final podium as Ion Izagirre became the overall winner of the race, while Pello Bilbao took a solid third place.
Besides, the Kazakh team won the final team classification of the Spanish race.
- I am super happy with this victory, but I have to say that this is team’s success, not only mine. We rode this race very well as a team and in every moment I had a great support from my teammates. We’ve got almost maximum in this race with my victory, a third place of Pello Bilbao and a win in team classification. Fantastic! I started this season with a goal to win at least one race and already here in Valencia I’ve got it. It is something special for me to win in Astana jersey, I am proud of it! – said Ion Izagirre.
- I think, this is the best way to start the new season. I am happy with my result and, of course, I am happy for Ion Izagirre and his victory. My result in this race proves that I worked really well during the off-season. With the team we had two very productive training camps in December and January, where a huge amount of work has been done together with our trainers and bike engineers. Now, at the Volta Valenciana we see how all this work pays off. After this strong start of the season I am looking forward to continue improving in the next races, - said Pello Bilbao.
- It is a well-deserved victory for our team. We have spent a very strong week here in Valencia and the team showed a solid performance. We saw many high-level rivals in this race, so, this fact makes this victory even more prestigious. Today’s stage was a bit nervous because of the wind, high pace and crash in the end, but we managed to pass it through without any problem. I am happy with our result in this race and want to congratulate all the team! – said Dmitri Sedoun, sports director of Astana Pro Team.
The last, 5th stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana of just 88 km, despite a crash inside the final kilometer, ended with a much expected sprint on the streets of Valencia. The Dutch rider Dylan Groenewegen won the stage ahead of Alexander Kristoff and Matteo Trentin. Astana’s Magnus Cort finished 15th.
The final podium of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana:
- Ion Izagirre
- Alejandro Valverde (+0.07)
- Pello Bilbao (+0.07)
Photo credit: © Tim De Waele/Getty Images.