A strong Patrick Konrad takes fifth after successful breakaway attempt.
The first day of the Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia took the riders from Yecla over 188 km to San Javier, where a flat finish straight awaited the peloton. Relatively early in the race, a group of seven riders went up the road, enjoying a gap of three minutes. BORA – hansgrohe stayed in the main bunch, setting the pace together with Mitchelton-Scott to control the race from the beginning. When the riders reached the day’s only climb, l’Alto Cabezo de la Parte, 34km before the finish line, the peloton increased the speed to close the gap to the breakaway. At that moment, seven riders, among them Patrick Konrad, launched another attack to pull away from the main field. This newly formed breakaway was able to hang on few seconds lead until the finish line. But with three riders in front, Team Astana had several cards to play for the stage win and finally P. Bilbao launched the race winning move at the Flamme Rouge. Patrick Konrad, who showed a great performance in today’s leading group, crossed the line in fifth place. With teammate Jempy Drucker completing BORA – hansgrohe’s strong performance in 8th position.
01 P. Bilbao 4:15
02 O. Fraile +0:03
03 L.L Sánchez +0:03
05 P. Konrad +0:03
From the Finish Line
“We went relaxed into today’s race. In case of a bunch sprint, we wanted to work for our sprinter Pascal. Therefore, we took control over the peloton right after the start, allowed only a small breakaway to pull away, and this worked out perfectly. Juraj did a great job, controlling the main bunch. On the decisive climb the pace was really high and our GC contender Patrick jumped into the new leading group. He showed a good performance and took fifth place in the end, which also puts him in a promising spot for the GC.” – Christian Pömer, Sport Director
“The last kilometers were a real nail-biter. We were not sure if the peloton would catch us or not. My teammates in the back did a great job, giving me some room in the front. On the final stretch I lacked a little bit of power to jump on the podium, but it’s early in the season and my shape is right there where it should be.” – Patrick Konrad