After a number of top results and high podium places in the first races of the 2018 season, finally Astana has got a beautiful victory: today, Luis Leon Sanchez won the Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia Costa Calida after a powerful counterattack inside the last kilometers of the race.
– My first words are about the team. The guys were super today and I have to thank all of them for the huge help! In the beginning a big group went away and we had to work the whole day. It was not easy to control this race, but the team did it! In the final I went away together with Valverde. I knew, if we come for a sprint it would be the same situation as it was at Valenciana. So, I knew I have to do something and I saw my chance with 2 km to go. Anyway, I think this is a team success, not only mine. The team is great these days. At the Volta Valenciana we did a strong race and took two podium places. Now, in Dubai Magnus was close to the victory too. That’s great! – said Luis Leon Sanchez after his amazing victory.
The Spanish race took its start in Beniel and finished on the streets of Murcia after 208,3 km of racing. It was a race plenty of attacks and actions, but in the final there were only two riders, who played the race victory: Luis Leon Sanchez and the recent winner of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana Alejandro Valverde.
It was Valverde, who tried to attack with about 2 km to go, but Astana rider was able to answer that attack and to launch a powerful counterattack, which brought him a nice solo victory in Murcia.
– We can be happy and proud with our race today. The team did it quite perfectly, we had a good plan and tried to calculate everything in this race. There was a dangerous action of 40 riders, who broke away, but our team did a very good job in front of the peloton together with Movistar to control it and to bring them back. Also, there was a strong move of Quick Step riders, and we were able to catch them on the final climb of the distance. Yeah, in the final there were only Luis Leon and Valverde. Luis Leon did a very nice attack and I think that the strongest won today. We all are very happy with our first victory in the season. The team looks very solid and we are looking forward to the next races, – explained sports director Bruno Cenghialta.
The race podium in Murcia was completed by the Belgian rider Philippe Gilbert. Also, another Astana rider Jakob Fuglsang did a very good race and finished 6th.