the Season has really kicked off for Astana.
The Kazakh crew of three danes in the squad showed at least on Friday, that the shape is good, as the first stage of the Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia was run.
On the 188,8 km from Yecla to San Javier were the horsemen, and 30 km from the target above a category 3 climb, there tyndede well out in the field.
A group with a total of six riders including Jakob Fuglsang, and three other Astana riders - tore itself free, and it was clear that the stage winner would be found among them.
On the last mile stack Pello Bilbao of and ran alone towards goal, and Astana-the spaniard held just as the rod.
@PelloBilbao1990 winner of the la primera etapa de la #VueltaCiclistaMurcia2019— Vuelta a Murcia (@VueltaMurcia) February 15, 2019
the Gran Premio @BancoSabadell pic.twitter.com/0UnnO2RGu4
Behind him, made sure Luis León Sánchez and Omar Fraile to clean Astana-board, while the captain Jakob Fuglsang at the rear of the group was able to raise his arms in the air and celebrate Astana-triumph.
In Astana, the sandwich was world champion Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and Patrick Konrad (Bora-Hansgrohe), who took care of respectively the fifth - and sixth position, while the significantly reduced field sprint was won by Matteo Trentin (Michelton-Scott).
It means inherently, that Astana is sitting with a good hand of cards to win the small stage race, which ends with Saturday's 2. stage, 180 km from Beniel Murcia. Perhaps with last year's winner, Luis León Sánchez, but the last stage also offers challenges, where Jakob Fuglsang can be used offensively.
Halfway to the waiting category 1-the rise Alto Colado Bermejo, while etapevinderen probably to be found 15 km from the target, where the riders over the Alto de la Cresta del Gallo, a category 2 increase of 4.4 km.
- It was a perfect start for us, but the main thing was that we showed that we have a strong team.
- the Stage tomorrow looks like today. The last increase is closer to the goal, but it is perhaps a little easier than today. So we hope to be able to maintain the lead, and we are ready to fight for it, says Jakob Fuglsang.
Vuelta Ciclista a la Region de Murcia is the second race in February's bike tour in southern Spain. Last week he won by Ion Izagirre, one of Astana's new riders, etapeløbet Volta a la Communitat Valenciana, and next week begins the big stage races, the Vuelta a Andalusia, where Jakob Fuglsang last year took the fourth place.