Carlos Barbero built on his impressive recent performance at the Vuelta a Castilla y León with a strong ride in Wednesday's opening leg of the Tour of Azerbaijan.
The Euskadi rider has travelled all the way to the country's capital, Baku, to race with the national team 'till Sunday.
And he couldn't have gotten off to a much better start. While escapee Christoph Schweizer (Baku Cycling Project) managed to hold off the peloton by the tiniest of margins to claim surprise win, Barbero placed fourth in the field sprint to finish in exactly the same position as he did overall the Vuelta a Castilla y León - fifth.
"(Juan Carlos) Ruitort and Óscar Hernández did a great job in bringing me into position", he told the Spanish Cycling Federation's website. "After that there was a lot of fighting for position that didn't benefit me. That's not meant as an excuse, though, merely as an explanation. We're left with a feeling of having done a good job as a team, and we're hungry for more".
Photo: Fundación Ciclista Euskadi