A solid fourth place for Aleksandr Vlasov at the Giro d’Italia – Astana

A solid fourth place for Aleksandr Vlasov at the Giro d’Italia

The 104th edition of the Giro d’Italia has ended today in Milan with a 30-kilometer-long individual time trial.

The leader of Astana – Premier Tech Aleksandr Vlasov spent a good day on his Wilier Triestina Turbine TT bike, taking a 19th place on this final stage. This result was more than enough to secure his fourth place in the final General Classification of the Italian Grand tour.

“Honestly, I am quite happy with my performance here at the Giro d’Italia. I mean it was my first Grand tour where I came fully focused for the result as a 100% leader of the team and I was able to finish fourth, really close to the podium. The final podium would be a super success for me, but anyway the result I’ve got here in Italy brings me a lot of motivation and satisfaction. Together with our team we spent three great weeks at the Giro and lived many good moments. With the experience I got here I know I can move further ahead”, – said Aleksandr Vlasov.

“I want to congratulate all the team, riders, staff and management with a solid result we showed at the Giro d’Italia. The team performed absolutely great during these three weeks and we gave our best for the best possible result. We were up there in front, fighting for the General Classification with quite a young roster and a young leader. The fourth place we reached here – is a very nice and promising result”, – said Giuseppe Martinelli, Sports Director of Astana – Premier Tech.

The Colombian Egan Bernal became the overall winner of the 2021 Giro d’Italia with Damiano Caruso and Simon Yates completing the race podium.

The Italian Filippo Ganna took the final stage victory, winning today’s individual time trial, while Matteo Sobrero once again proved he feels really good in this discipline, scoring a fourth place in Milan just 14 seconds behind the stage winner.

Giro d’Italia, Stage 21. Senago – Milan, 30,3 km.

Stage Top-3: 1. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers); 2. Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck – Quick Step); 3. Edoardo Affini (Team Jumbo-Visma).

Astana – Premier Tech stage Top-3: 4. Matteo Sobrero; 19. Aleksandr Vlasov; 30. Luis Leon Sanchez.

GC Top-3: Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers); 2. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain – Victorious); 3. Simon Yates (Team BikeExchange).

Astana – Premier Tech GC Top-3: 4. Aleksandr Vlasov; 19. Gorka Izagirre; 33. Luis Leon Sanchez.

Photo credit: @Getty Images

— Vitalii to www.astanapremiertech.com

De Kleijn sprints to fourth in Boucles de la Mayenne – Rally Cycling

After two challenging opening stages at Boucles de la Mayenne, the team stepped up to deliver sprinter Arvid de Kleijn to fourth on stage 3. The 182km route featured five categorized climbs but none were hard enough to break up the pack. In the final kilometers of the race, de Kleijn’s teammates brought him to the front of the peloton where he navigated his way through the leadout trains to claim his best result since the Tour of Turkey.

“I did a really good sprint but was too far back to go for the victory,” said de Kleijn. “I’m still thinking about what could have happened if I had a better position but that’s sprinting and I’m happy I was able to move up to fourth.”

Despite strong legs on the first two days of racing, de Kleijn’s luck could have been better.

“The first stage was not good. I felt great but crashed at 30km to go and couldn’t come back. The second day had some steep climbs at a fast pace and I had cramps in the final two km. It was nice to finally have a shot at the finish on Saturday.”

Mayenne’s final stage is expected to end in a field sprint as double-stage winner Arnaud Démare and his Groupama – FDJ squad look for the hat trick.

I’m hoping for another sprint opportunity,” added de Kleijn. “Stage 4 is a bit of a harder stage but I’ve been handling the climbs pretty well and the local laps should suit me. I hope to have good legs and challenge for the podium.”

Stage 3 results
1 DÉMARE Arnaud Groupama – FDJ 4:18:48
2 HALVORSEN Kristoffer Uno-X Pro Cycling Team ”
3 EEKHOFF Nils Team DSM ”
4 DE KLEIJN Arvid Rally Cycling
5 ANIOŁKOWSKI Stanisław Bingoal Pauwels Sauces WB ”
6 ALLEGAERT Piet Cofidis, Solutions Crédits ”
7 MCLAY Daniel Team Arkéa Samsic ”
8 VERMEULEN Emiel Xelliss – Roubaix Lille Métropole ”
9 WEEMAES Sasha Sport Vlaanderen – Baloise ”
10 ABERASTURI Jon Caja Rural – Seguros RGA “

— Tom Soladay to rallycycling.com

Giro d’Italia, Stage 16. Aleksandr Vlasov takes seventh on the queen stage, remains fourth in the GC – Astana

Giro d’Italia, Stage 16. Aleksandr Vlasov takes seventh on the queen stage, remains fourth in the GC

With three climbs all over 2000 metres above sea level, the 16th stage of the Giro d’Italia had been positioned as the queen stage of the race but extreme weather conditions on two out of three climbs, Passo Fedaia and Passo Pordoi, forced the race organizers to exclude them from the route. The revised stage profile featured just 153 out of 212 kilometres with only La Crosetta climb at the start and Passo Giau as the Cima Coppi (2233 metres above sea level) in the final before the descent to Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The rain and cold all day long still made this stage challenging for all the riders, impacting the General Classification of the race significantly.

After multiple attacks, a group of 24 riders went away on La Crosetta, while later a new leading group of six counterattacked, finally, to create the breakaway of the day with Gorka Izagirre being one of the most aggressive riders up there. The group of Izagirre opened a six-minute gap, while Astana – Premier Tech leader Aleksandr Vlasov stayed well protected in the peloton, surrounded by his teammates.

At the bottom of Passo Giau, Vlasov suffered a mechanical incident when a jacket was caught in his wheel, forcing him to stop and lose time at a crucial point in the race. Vlasov tried to come back to the significantly-reduced GC favourites group, supported by Matteo Sobrero and then by Gorka Izagirre, who dropped back from the breakaway to help his leader.

“The team worked really well all day long. Despite last-minute change in the stage route we prepared a good plan both for the staff and the riders, so everything went in the right way. Gorka Izagirre was in the breakaway, while Aleksandr Vlasov was well protected by the teammates. Then, bad luck impacted us a lot when Vlasov got a jacket in his wheel at the bottom of Passa Giau. Matteo Sobrero gave his all to bring Aleksandr back to the group and they missed just a little to bridge to the front before the decisive attack of Egan Bernal. And also Gorka Izagirre did a phenomenal job coming back from the breakaway to lead Vlasov to the top of the climb trying to minimize our loses. At the end of the day, we lost two minutes to Bernal and around a minute and a half to the others. It is a lot, but we still saved our day and despite bad luck we are still in the mix for the podium. Let’s see what happens after the second rest day,” – said Giuseppe Martinelli, Sports Director of Astana – Premier Tech.

Bernal attacked from the GC favourites group, at the end of the day taking a solo victory in Cortina d’Ampezzo and increasing his lead in the overall standings.

Vlasov finished seventh, 2 minutes and 11 seconds behind Bernal while Gorka Izagirre was eighth.

Going into the second rest day, Bernal leads the race with a 2’24” advantage on Damiano Caruso and 3’40” on Hugh Carthy. Vlasov maintains fourth overall, 4 minutes 18 seconds behind the race leader.

“When I started to take off my jacket, somehow a sleeve touched my wheel, immediately blocking it. I had to stop to solve the problem but fortunately our car was not far behind, so I got help from our mechanic. Well, with support of my teammates I tried to come back to the group, but it did not work out because I was quite far behind. It’s a disappointing moment, but it was how it was, nothing I can do about it. We did our best to the finish line but I still lost time to my rivals. I felt really good today and my teammates did a great job for me, but the luck was not on our side today. However I am not going to give up and I will keep on fighting in the third week”, – said Aleksandr Vlasov.

Giro d’Italia, Stage 16, Sacile – Cortina d’Ampezzo, 153 km.

Stage Top-3: 1. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers); 2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM); 3. Damiano Caruso (Barhain – Victorious).

Astana – Premier Tech stage Top-3: 7. Aleksandr Vlasov; 8. Gorka Izagirre. 26. Matteo Sobrero.

Photo credit: @Getty Images

— Vitalii to www.astanapremiertech.com

Clara Koppenburg fourth overall in Vuelta a Burgos Feminas

Clara Koppenburg brought the fight to the WorldTour riders in the final stage of the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas as she infiltrated the breakaway to finish fifth atop the fearsome Lagunas de Neila climb. 

“I am super chuffed because I really gave everything,” Koppenburg said. “I completely emptied myself and the last two kilometers were the longest in my life, it was so hard.”

At 42km to go, a massive group of thirty riders attacked with Koppenburg following the move. 

“The key moment was definitely when the 30 rider group went and it was a perfect move to be in. I could try to just hang in there and take a lift. When we entered the long climb there were fewer and fewer people and Amanda Spratt kept attacking. I just tried to follow.” 

Koppenburg gave her all atop the summit finish and displayed a brilliant return to form after her recent knee injury, managing to finish fifth on the day and just outside the podium for the overall classification. Additionally, her ride was also enough to win the most aggressive on the day.

“I’m super happy to have this result after having not a great start to the season with some injuries. I’m also really happy to give something back to my teammates because they worked really hard over the last few days.”

Koppenberg’s success rounds out a strong week for the Rally Cycling women after Heidi Franz held onto the mountains classification jersey for three stages. The Vuelta a Burgos Feminas marks the end of a European racing block for the women as most head back to the US for Nationals from June 17-20.

Vuelta a Burgos Final General Classification
1 VAN DER BREGGEN Anna SD Worx 11:23:55
2 VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek Movistar Team 0:03
3 VOLLERING Demi SD Worx 0:23
4 KOPPENBURG Clara Rally Cycling Women 0:59
16 DOEBEL-HICKOK Kristabel Rally Cycling  1:54

Stage 4 results
1 VAN DER BREGGEN Anna SD Worx 3:24:15
2 VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek Movistar Team ”
3 VOLLERING Demi SD Worx 0:20
4 ROOIJAKKERS Pauliena Liv Racing 0:35
5 KOPPENBURG Clara Rally Cycling Women 0:37
6 AALERUD Katrine Movistar Team 0:51
7 LUDWIG Cecilie Uttrup FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope 1:04
8 MOOLMAN Ashleigh SD Worx 1:06
9 BROWN Grace Team BikeExchange 1:09
10 SPRATT Amanda Team BikeExchange 1:17

— Rebecca Bland to rallycycling.com

Vlasov moves up to fourth overall after brutal Giro d’Italia stage 6 – Astana

Vlasov moves up to fourth overall after brutal Giro d’Italia stage 6

A tough day in the saddle on stage six of the Giro d’Italia saw Aleksandr Vlasov climb the General Classification rankings to move into fourth overall, 24 seconds behind new race leader Attila Valter.

Astana – Premier Tech’s Russian leader crossed the line in tenth place atop the San Giacomo climb in what was the race’s first summit finish in brutal conditions with cold weather and constant rain making for a difficult day.

“It was a very hard day, especially with the cold weather. I really couldn’t feel my arms or legs so I suffered a lot. On the downhill I didn’t want to push too hard and then on the final climb, I gave everything I had. I had great support from Harold Tejada so I was able to save some energy going into the final kilometres. It was not easy as I didn’t feel anything but I just tried to stay with the best as long as possible. I was able to answer the first attack but the second time Bernal went, I wasn’t able to stay on the wheel so I just held my own rhythm until the finish line. I did my best and in general, I am happy. Now we just keep taking things day by day and see what happens,” Vlasov said.

Gino Mader held on from the breakaway to take the solo victory while behind, the General Classification riders began to attack from the reduced peloton on the final climb. Vlasov, who had Harold Tejadad for support, responded to the first moves and clawed his way back to the front. Although he was wasn’t able to match a second attack within the last kilometre, Vlasov dug deep to limit him time loss on the finish line to cross the line 17 seconds behind a handful of General Classification rivals.

Heading back onto flatter terrain on stage seven, Vlasov now sits in fourth overall, eight seconds off the podium.

Race Profile

Giro d’Italia

Stage 6: Grotte di Frasassi > Ascoli Piceno (San Giacomo) (160km)

Top 3: 1. Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious), 2. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers), 3. Dan Martin (Israel Start Up Nation).

Astana – Premier Tech top 3: 10. Aleksandr Vlasov, 30. Harold Tejada, 62. Gorka Izagirre

Photo: Getty Sport

— Phoebe Haymes to www.astanapremiertech.com