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“We played all our cards right today and made the race. No victory, but the teamwork is very good and we have a few more races together to put everything in place," Fuglsang says

Photo: Sirotti

ASTANA QAZAQSTAN TEAM

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JAKOB FUGLSANG

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PARIS - NICE

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17.03.2014 @ 12:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

While most teams were content to defend in yesterda's final stage of Paris-Nice, Astana had different plans. The team took the bull by the horns and their attempt to animate the stage was rewarded with an overall fifth place for Jakob Fuglsang.

 

Astana failed to come away with the win or a podium place in this year's Paris-Nice but the team can be proud of a performance that made them the most aggressive squad in the 8-day race. The performance was crowned in yesterday's final stage where the team was trying to move Jakob Fuglsang from 5th onto the overall podium.

 

The team put Francesco Gavazzi in the early break before Borut Bozic, Alessandro Vanotti, Valerio Agnoli, and Lieuwe Westra set a fierce pace on the penultimate climb, preparing an attack from Vincenzo Nibali. The Giro champion bridged across to Gavazzi who tried to keep the move going but a strong Ag2r team brought it back together at the top of the climb.

 

Astana was back in action on the final climb of Col d'Eze when Fuglsang contributed to the hard pace that left both Zdenek Stybar and Jose Joaquin Rojas behind. That moved the Dane onto the virtual podium but as Rojas managed to claw his way back to the lead group, his podium dreams ended on the descent to Nice.

 

Stybar never made it back to the front but as Arthur Vichot scored enough bonus seconds on the line to pass Fuglsang on GC, the Dane was rewarded for the aggressive showing by a fifth place in the first European WorldTour race of the season.

 

“I attacked on the last climb to try and drop Stybar and Rojas," he said. "But the Spanish rider was like rubber and he bounced back.

 

“We played all our cards right today and made the race. No victory, but the teamwork is very good and we have a few more races together to put everything in place”

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