Vuelta a Andalucia. Stage 4. Astana's Fuglsang moves into lead after queen stage

ASTANA. KAZINFORM Astana Pro Team did a perfect aggressive race at the queen 4th stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta Ciclista Del Sol, moving Jakob Fuglsang into the lead in the general classification of the race.

"We did a very good race, our main goal was to take the lead and we did it. At the last two climbs of the day we put Tim Wellens under a big pressure with our attacks, and also Mitchelton-Scott helped us with their attacks. It worked perfectly for us. Simon Yates was strong today, maybe I could follow his attack, but I preferred to control my closest rivals since he was out of the GC. The overall classification was our priority for today, so I just followed our plan. The team did a great job, all my teammates were so strong. In the final I had a huge help from Ion Izagirre and Pello Bilbao. We did a good downhill and had a full control over the race until the finish. I am happy to become the leader of the race. We still have one difficult day tomorrow, but in the same time we have a strong team to fight to the finish line to keep my lead," said Jakob Fuglsang.

Immediately from the start the Kazakh team took the race under its full control, setting an impressive pace. On the second climb of the day Alto de Purche (8.9 km, 7.7%) Astana Pro Team caught the early breakaway and produced a great selection in the peloton, creating a leading group of just 30 riders.

The stage (119,9 km from Armilla to Granada) has exploded again on the third climb of the day Alto de Guejar Sierra (6.2 km, 5.1%) with a few attacks of Astana riders: Luis Leon Sanchez, Pello Bilbao, Ion Izagirre and Jakob Fuglsang all tried to attack together with a few riders of Mitchelton-Scott. Thus, at the top of the climb the leading group split in parts.

The decisive moment of the race came at the last and the hardest climb of the day Alto de Hazallanas (7.3 km, 9.6%), where the current race leader Tim Wellens dropped out from the first group, while Jakob Fuglsang could stay in front, taking a good advantage.

An attack of the 2018 Vuelta a España winner Simon Yates on the last climb brought him the victory at the fourth stage. Jakob Fuglsang, Ion Izagirre and Pello Bilbao, all staying in the chasing group, did a good job and perfectly controlled the situation. Finishing 26 seconds behind Yates, the Astana rider moved Jakob Fuglsang into the lead in the overall classification of the Vuelta a Andalucia with Ion Izagirre at second position (+0.07) and Pello Bilbao at 4th place (+0.21).

The final 5th stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia will be held on Feb 24: 163,9 km from Otura to Alhaurín de la Torre, Astana Pro Team's official website reads.

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