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"I didn’t think I could win the GC as I did not think that Scarponi and Lopez would get dropped. I also didn’t believe in it because for a very, very long time I have not been able to do long climbs."

Photo: Tour of Turkey / Mario Stiehl










08.08.2015 @ 22:50 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

"I was working today for Scarponi and Lopez, but in the last kilometer the attacks were too strong because it was so steep. Where we won Burgos was as a team in the time trial."


Those were the words of Astana's Rein Taaaramäe after the fifth and final stage of the Vuelta a Burgos. Taaramäe won the final General Classification on Saturday after finishing second on the final mountain stage into Lagunas de Neila, 13 seconds behind stagewinner Dani Moreno of Spain.


Astana Pro Team controlled the race early after a fast first hour of attacks to create a breakaway, and teammate Mikel Landa was effective in bringing back 12 escapees over the first five of seven categorized climbs. With two mountains to go Taaramäe worked with teammates Michele Scarponi and Luis Leon Sanchez to reduce the peloton to an elite group of leaders before the final ascent.


Rival teams used every available tactic to try and take the purple leader's jersey from Astana Pro Team rider Miguel Lopez, but solid teamwork into the final 5km allowed no dangerous breakaways. Finally in the last 500m Moreno attacked, and as the road steepened and Lopez found himself unable to follow, first Scarponi and then Taaramäe jumped ahead to close the gap and save the victory.


Scarponi finished 2nd overall, 2 seconds behind Taaramäe - Lopez was 4th at 12 seconds.


"It is so amazing," Taaramae added. "I didn’t think I could win the GC as I did not think that Scarponi and Lopez would get dropped. I also didn’t believe in it because for a very, very long time I have not been able to do long climbs. I have some hard years behind me. It’s two years since I last climbed well. It is just amazing and I am so, so happy.


"We are one of the best teams in the world, there is no question about that."


Taaramäe takes his first General Classification win for Astana at Vuelta a Burgos and next flies to the Arctic Race of Norway, while Sanchez will turn to the Vuelta a España at the end of the month. Scarponi will rest after racing the Tour de France in July and Lopez rejoins his Colombian U23 national team to defend last year's victory at the Tour de l'Avenir.



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