Movistar’s Miguel Angel Lopez won the 67th Vuelta a Andalucia after Saturday’s final stage.
The 107km route from Vera to Pulpi saw the Colombian rider head the General Classification, the fourth of his career so far, and the first for his current team after he started with them just a month ago.
Victory came after impressive teamwork from fellow riders including Juri Hollmann and Sebastian Mora, Gonazlo Serrano, Jose Rojas, Hector Carretero and Abner González.
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The early pace was strong and was maintained by both the Ineos Grenadiers and Bike Exchange teams into the final category three Geoda climb. Serrano, who took sixth on the day and Lopez (fourth), avoided a late crash in the final sprint to place.
Ineos’ 22-year-old English rider Ethan Hayter took the stage win, and the overall win for Movistar was their 10th at the competition.
Speaking after the conclusion, Lopez said:
I'm so happy with this victory. We've finished the day in the best possible way. We came to this race with some good mentality, looking forward to showing our colours and taking this Vuelta a Andalucía really seriously. We had already been racing in Romandie, where I gained confidence after seven months with no racing, then two of the Mallorca Challenge trophies and then here, where we came with an aim to win a stage - and see what we got!
"Regarding today's finish, I was riding a bit more behind because, in the end, it was a better sprint for riders like Impey or Hayter and we had a better chance with Gonzalo to go for the stage win. I was a bit behind, as I said, but into those final turns I decided to gain some positions to avoid any time gaps, and as the crash happened on the left-hand side, I was on the right and ended up ahead of Gonzalo. I don't even know how that crash happened, can't say anything about it.
"It was a super job from the whole team. Thanks to all the boys, they were sensational and made things quite easier for me. Things are going so well at this moment in the team, my adaptation to this new structure is going well and there was no better way to thank them for the support to bring them a stage win + GC here. Also Gonzalo's victory here on day one - a great week for everybody!
"We will now take things a bit easier in the upcoming days, then travel to France next week for the Critérium du Dauphiné, my main race before the Tour de France. I want to dedicate this victory to my wife and son, who were surely watching the stage at home. Hope they enjoyed!"
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