Estonian cyclist Martin Laas (Bora-Hansgrohe) started his competition season with a third-place finish in the one-day Clasica de Almeria on Sunday.
The road race, taking cyclists from Puebla de Vicar to Roquetas de Mar, was won by Giacomo Nizzolo (Team Qhubeka Assos), followed by Florian Senechal (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) and the 27-year old Estonian Martin Laas.
"The race was hard, I felt it would be a group finish, but there was a small sidewind danger on the final lap and that made things more nervous," Laas said post-race.
"The final 45 km were very stressful and nerve-racking, there were many falls. To be honest, I did not feel too great, I had sacrificed myself a bit prior and did not save up for a direct sprint. I did end up having enough leg in the end and I was behind the right man before the final curve, meaning Nizzolo. When he went into his sprint, I was boxed in and when I was able to begin my spring, the winning train had already left. I was still luckily able to get to third in the end," the cyclist explained the final pushes of the race.
"At the same time, I believe I had a winning foot today and if I had been able to start from a better position, I could have won. What was unlucky is my last secondary rider's tire burst ca 1.5 km before the finish, meaning I was forced to be alone for the final stretch. The next time, hopefully these minor things fall in place for me," Laas said.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste