Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) has said that finishing a career-best fourth overall at the Giro d'Italia gives him motivation for the future, after completing what is only his second full Grand Tour.
The Russian capped off the three-week race with a19th place in Sunday's closing Milan time trial, securing fourth place, 6:40 behind winner Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers).
25-year-old Vlasov had looked to be in the battle for lead midway through the race before shedding time on the Monte Zoncolan and Sega di Ala summit finishes before recovering to take fifth and seventh places in the closing Alpine-double header. After leaving last year's Giro after two days and taking 11th at the Vuelta a España, the result is a major step-up in his Grand Tour career.
"The final podium would be a super success for me, but anyway the result I’ve got here in Italy brings me a lot of motivation and satisfaction," Vlasov said in a post on his team's website after the final stage.
"Honestly, I am quite happy with my performance here at the Giro d’Italia. I mean it was my first Grand tour where I came fully focused for the result as a 100 per cent leader of the team and I was able to finish fourth, really close to the podium.
"Together with our team we spent three great weeks at the Giro and lived many good moments. With the experience I got here I know I can move further ahead."
Astana's lead directeur sportif, Giuseppe Martinelli, said that the result was a promising one with a young team leader.
"I want to congratulate all the team, riders, staff and management with a solid result we showed at the Giro d’Italia," he said. "The team performed absolutely great during these three weeks, and we gave our best for the best possible result.
"We were up there in front, fighting for the General Classification with quite a young roster and a young leader. The fourth place we reached here – is a very nice and promising result."
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