Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team), the defending champion and overall leader of the Tour of Andalusia, grabbed the third stage, Friday, when he took advantage of a miscalculation by the leaders of a bunch sprint.
The Dane also took a win in the opening stage, on Wednesday.
Fuglsang executed as planned, “…after following all of the moves at the end, I used the last corner as my opportunity to go for the win. I looked at the road book this morning and I knew that if I wanted to go for the victory, it would be really important to be in the right position at that point.”
Dylan Teuns (Bahrain – McLaren) and Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) were gapped inside of 50m to go, when the pair at the front inexplicably took the race vehicle caravan exit, costing them precious seconds.
American Brandon McNulty (UAE-Team Emirates) was just behind the leaders, finishing in third on the stage.
From the gun, the peloton fractured, with a lead group of nearly 50 separating themselves.
From this selection, a group of ten escapees were allowed as much as 90 seconds advantage, but Astana was always at the front, protecting their team captain’s lead over three more categorized climbs.
On a very fast descent into the narrow and technical run-up before the finishing climb, Mikel Landa (Bahrain – McLaren) took to the front, in hopes of bettering his overall standing.
Dylan Teuns (Bahrain – McLaren) was right on Landa’s wheel, also with ambitions of improving his general classification position.
However, their position on the road, and possibly some fatigue-induced confusion about a right turn, had the two go off-course right at the stage finale.
With three Bahrain-McLaren riders between race-leader Fuglsang and his teammate Ion Izagirre, in fifth, Astana will have to be on form to protect the narrow lead in the penultimate, mountainous stage.
“Thinking ahead to Sunday, the TT looks difficult but if I have a little bit of an advantage, I think it could suit me,” said a happy Jakob Fuglsang after his second stage win.
Stage 4, Saturday, is 126 km and will be contested between Villaneuva Mesia, and Granada over three categorized climbs, while Stage 5 on Sunday, is a 13km individual time trial.
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team): 4:33:25
2. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain – McLaren): S.T.
3. Brandon McNulty (UAE-Team Emirates): at 0:01
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team): 14:22:26
2. Mikel Landa (Bahrain – McLaren): at 0:14
3. Pello Bilbao (Bahrain – McLaren: at 0:30