Oscar Rodriguez takes solid second place atop Mont Ventoux – Astana

Oscar Rodriguez takes solid second place atop Mont Ventoux

Oscar Rodriguez showed pure climber class at the one-day race Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge, taking a solid second podium place on the top of the legendary Giant of Provence Mont Ventoux.

The rider of Astana – Premier Tech launched a strong counterattack from a small group of chasers with some seven kilometers to go, trying to follow the attack of the Spaniard Miguel Angel Lopez, who stayed solo at the front and at the end of the day took the win in this race.

With four kilometers to the top Enric Mas joined Astana – Premier Tech rider in his chase, but on the finish line Oscar Rodriguez was just stronger, taking a very nice second place, 2 minutes 26 seconds behind the race winner.

“I think I can be happy with my performance today as I did my best in this race and to be on the podium next to Miguel Angel Lopez is a big achievement for me. He is a great champion and right now he is staying in a big form ahead of the Tour de France. So, to be second behind him – is a good result. The team worked good for me today and on the climb I just tried to be close to other favorites. In a moment I went away alone, and I think it was a good move. Later Enric Mas caught me, but I still had some energy to attack inside the last kilometer and to take the second place. I know that Gleb Brussenskiy crashed during the race and now he is in the hospital for medical check-up. I wish Gleb a speedy recovery and hope to see him in our next race La Route d’Occitanie”, – said Oscar Rodriguez.

The race, last year won by Aleksandr Vlasov, took start in Vaison-la-Romaine and shortly after it a few riders created the daily breakaway. However, the peloton did not give the escapers too much space and at the bottom of the final ascent to Mont Ventoux the break has been completely neutralized.

Inside the final 15 kilometers of the race there was just a small group of favourites with Oscar Rodriguez and Merhawi Kudus among them representing the Kazakh-Canadian team. It was Miguel Angel Lopez, who attacked with some 12 kilometers to go quickly opening a big gap, enough to take the race win.

While Merhawi Kudus was forced to drop out from the chasing group, taking his own pace, Oscar Rodriguez proved to be one of the most active riders behind the solo leader, working in front of the chasing group and following the attacks of the rivals. With seven kilometers to go Rodriguez found a moment for a strong counterattack, which brought him the podium on such a famous climb as Mont Ventoux.

Gleb Brussenskiy was involved in a crash on the descent. It seems that the rider did not get any serious injury, however, after the race he has been moved to the hospital for medical check-up. Th team will communicate on rider’s state of health as soon as possible.

“We started this race with two leaders, Merhawi Kudus and Oscar Rodriguez. While for Merhawi it was the first race after a long break, Oscar already did the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he showed himself in a really good form. So, we were expecting something good from him today. We knew the race and knew the climb really well as last year Aleksandr Vlasov brought us a beautiful victory here, so we were aiming to fight for another high result. Indeed, Miguel Angel Lopez was the biggest favourite after Dauphiné, so our plan was to follow his attacks and to try to stay as close to him as possible. The team did a good job for both our leaders on the first lap and during the first ascent to Mont Ventoux, while in the final Oscar showed really good legs staying with the best riders and attacking in a right moment. Of course, we would prefer to win today, but Lopez was just the strongest. However, we are very happy with such a strong performance of Oscar Rodriguez and this podium place give us some additional motivation ahead of La Route d’Occitanie”, – said Dmitriy Fofonov.

Mont Ventoux Dénivelé Challenge, Vaison-la-Romaine – Mont Ventoux, 153 km.

Top-3: 1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar Team); 2. Oscar Rodriguez (Astana – Premier Tech); 3. Enric Mas (Movistar Team).

Photo credit: @Getty Images

— Vitalii to www.astanapremiertech.com

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

Team Novo Nordisk kicks off Tour de la Mirabelle with solid prologue

Charles Planet (FRA)

“This Tour de Mirabelle started with a short, very fast prologue. I was one of the last ones to go, and I gave everything I had. The result was not the one I expected, but in fairness we were all very close to each other, which gave me confidence for tomorrow stage.”

“It is very exciting to be here, I had so many emotions today! Firstly, the excitement of racing at home, for the first time in eight years as professional cyclist. Plus my entire family and my girlfriend are here to support and cheer for me and for the team. It’s an extra motivation to push harder and show what we are capable of.”

Hamish Beadle (NZL)

“Today I felt like being the new kid at school again. But it’s such a good feeling to be back in the mix!
The course suited me quite well: it was short, technical and punchy. I really enjoyed it.”

“It’s unreal being back with the guys and the team. It’s going to be a good week.”

Photo Credit: Rene’ Vigneron; Alice Podenzana

— Alice Podenzana to www.teamnovonordisk.com