Rein Taaramae solos to victory in 2015 Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia

Rein Taaramae started 2015 off on the right foot, winning the Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia for his new team Astana

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Rein Taaramäe (Astana) soloed to victory on Saturday in the Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia.

After the peloton retrieved a two-rider breakaway 146km into the 198.1km race from Mazarrón to Alto Fortaleza del Sol, a course with four categorized climbs and a Cat. 3 summit finish, Taaramäe decided to go it alone.

The former Cofidis rider built an advantage of nearly two and a half minutes going into the final 5km, and held on for the victory by a scant 10 seconds as Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) led the peloton home.

Czech road champion Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-Quick-Step) rounded out the podium, finishing third in the same time.

“Today it was a very good job by the guys all day. We tried to catch Taaramäe in the last 30 kilometers,” said  Mollema. “Fränk [Schleck] pulled for most of the last kilometers, but Taaramäe was just too strong; alone he was even taking more time on the peloton. So he deserves to win and it was nice to be second and to be on the podium, but I have to say I was hoping to win today. But he was just too strong.”