Spanish sprinter from Movistar Team -Blues up to 17 wins in 2019- opens victory account this season, pays back team-mates after huge job at the front
Having come close so many times to victory at sprints in Spanish races and even made the GC podium of a stagerace in the Vuelta a Madrid, Carlos Barbero was finally able to open his victory account in 2019 on Sunday as he finished off a sensational effort from the whole Movistar Team on stage one of the Tour of Austria, 138km from Grieskirchen to Freistadt.
Carlos Betancur and Jaime Castrillo worked hard right from the start to keep under control the main moves in the stage, the last of which -Scott Davies (TDD) into a solo attempt- was caught at a hilly final circuit. Against a selected peloton of barely 60 riders, Barbero took advantage of his finishing speed to claim his 17th pro victory, as well as the seventeenth success for the Movistar Team in the current season.
The squad directed by José Luis Jaimerena also had six of its riders into the main group, remaining fully in contention of a race which will feature another chance for the fastmen at Wiener Neustadt (177km) on Monday, before tackling the big mountains of this year’s Österreich-Rundfahrt.
REACTION / Carlos Barbero:
“I was feeling strong after the Spanish Championships and the last few races, and so I hoped I could enjoy some chances to seek for a good result in Austria. As soon as that early break got a gap, my team-mates took the lead of the front group – it was great to see them trusting my chances so much. It was a bit of a chaotic run-in to the finish, yet I was able to find a good position, seek for my sprinting distance and take this one for my team-mates.
“Even if I had already been able to raise my arms in victory this season, this is the one that no one will take out of my hands. This finally gives me the confidence and calmness to go for me, and the reason you work so hard and take care of yourself every season. It’s the reward for these long months without a win. The next goal? Hopefully taking advantage of the upcoming chances and then, in the mountains, support my team-mates as they did for me today.”