Offensive Astana Qazaqstan Team finishes La Vuelta 2022 with satisfaction and mixed feelings
A fourth place Overall with Miguel Angel Lopez, three second and one third place: that’s the nice result of Astana Qazaqstan Team after three weeks of racing in Spain.
“We are very satisfied, but there’s something nagging me. With this strong team, with Lopez, Lutsenko, Nibali, De La Cruz and Battistella, our goal was to win a stage. We were close but at decisive moments we missed some luck. When Battistella was second on Las Praeres, there was just one stronger rider, but his sprint against Herrada in Cistierna was a missed opportunity”, – said Giuseppe Martinelli, Sports Director of Astana Qazaqstan Team.
“In the Overall we finish 4th, and we have to enjoy it. It was not an easy year for me, but the team had confidence and they were so attentive and devoted to me. It was maybe not always visible, but they did a great job from day one until the end. It was an honor to have Vincenzo Nibali working for me. Or Alexey Lutsenko, a great man as well as rider. Tejada, Fedorov, Pronskiy, De La Cruz or Battistella, they all gave everything for me”, – said Miguel Angel Lopez.
“The final podium was another goal of us, but we need to be realistic too. There were so many uncertainties before La Vuelta. After his injury from the Giro, Miguel Angel was six, seven weeks without a bike. He had just six weeks to prepare to La Vuelta. In the first week he missed some sharpness and lost too much time, but that’s logical. And then you race against big talents. Evenepoel is 22, Ayuso is just 19. More and more we will need to watch out for the young guns.We were active every day but missed a stage win. So, there’s a big contentment, rather than happiness. It is never easy to compose a competitive team for races in August-September, but we did. I am proud of the guys”, – added Giuseppe Martinelli.
“The most important thing is that we were fighting three weeks long, but it is true that we leave La Vuelta with a bittersweet taste”, – said Miguel Angel Lopez.
Photo credit: @Gettysport