Igor Antón ended an almost four year victory drought at the Vuelta a Asturias as he won the opening stage and the overall at the UCI 2.1 Spanish race. It was Antón's first win since stage 18 of the 2011 Vuelta a España and first in the colours of Movistar who he joined in 2014 following the end of the Euskaltel–Euskadi team.
The 32-year-old's third place overall at the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon on the eve of the race suggested he would be a rider to watch at the two-stage race and immediately proved too strong for his rivals by soloing to stage one victory.
"I really needed a victory like this one, after so much suffering. I needed to be happy, being able to dedicate this to my late mother, and also remember a third person, Pablo Lastras, whom I hope he'll recover well after his injuries," Antón said after his win. "More than feeling vindicated, which wasn't a real goal here, it was more about finding myself on the road, being happy again, having a good position into the bunch.
"I might have got into that path again, after giving everything myself to change things but not having my body responding to that, due to lack of health or pressure put on by myself. This really helps me a lot at this time of the season. Already in Castilla y León and País Vasco I went into a good momentum, and this is a step forward."
Antón sealed his first career overall victory as he finished on the same time as stage two winner and teammate Jesús Herrada, adding he was dreaming of repeat victories.
"I am more than satisfied with what was done yesterday and this general classification," Antón said. "I've even came to dream of victory, but in the end I had to come from behind and fortunately Jesús won and that makes me even happier still."
Antón rode the Giro d'Italia last year in support of overall winner Nairo Quintana as he finished 37th overall, and the 2011 Monte Zoncolan stage winner is hoping his results are enough to earn selection for the first grand tour of the season and fourth career Giro.
"Hopefully this will help me to get a place in the Giro team, although the level that is always difficult," Antón added after the second stage. "There is always talk of Nairo Quintana and Alexander Valverde, but this season we have shown that there are several riders who can provide victories."
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