Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. Simone Velasco takes a strong-willed win on Stage 3
The Italian rider Simone Velasco brought the first seasonal victory to Astana Qazaqstan Team: today he won Stage 3 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
Velasco won a three-man sprint from a breakaway group, who was able to survive in front under a furious pursuit of the peloton.
Simone dedicated his victory to Astana’s masseur Umberto Inselvini, who tragically died on 27th January.
“We knew that it would be a very tough stage and we have discussed with the Sports Directors our strategy, aiming the breakaway. But, of course, we knew that there would be a great fight to make part of the break of the day. We were keeping of attacking right from the start of the stage and, finally, after many attempts I was able to break away clear in a group of riders. After we crossed the last climb, I started thinking of the finish, started believing that we could survive. So, we continued working together, pushing as hard as possible. There were just a few seconds between us and the peloton, but it was enough. I just gave my all in the sprint and it worked out! I am so happy with this victory! I would like to dedicate this success to our masseur Umberto Inselvini, who passed away some days ago. This a dedication from all our team. Also, I would like to thank all my family for a great support and this victory is also for my little daughter Diletta. We will do our best to keep on riding in the same way and I hope this is just the beginning of a great season”, – said Simone Velasco.
“It was clear that this stage could be a good opportunity for a break, so there was a big fight among the teams to send their riders in the front. Simone showed a great fighting spirit, strong sports character. He is a fast guy, and we knew once he reaches the finish, he would have a good chance to win. With a minute on the top of the last climb we started believing they could make it to the finish. It was a strong group, and every rider was doing his best to stay away until the finish and, at the end of the day the strongest won the race. So, we opened our score in this season and let’s hope it is just the beginning”, – added Dmitriy Fofonov, Sports Director of Astana Qazaqstan Team.
Photo credit: @SprintCycling