Vuelta a Espana: Atapuma Keeps his Lead


Team News: BMC’s Ben Hermans finished in fourth place in a tricky finale on stage 6 of Vuelta a Espana and Darwin Atapuma hold on to his red jersey

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Vuelta a Espana: Atapuma  Keeps his Lead

Team News (BMC): Vuelta a Espana Stage 6: Hermans Finishes Fourth, Atapuma Keeps Red

Stage 6 of the Vuelta a Espana saw Ben Hermans finish in fourth place in a tricky finale and Darwin Atapuma hold on to his red jersey. It was a tough day in the saddle with temperatures of more than 30 degrees adding another level of difficulty to the 163.2km stage.

It took an hour of racing before the peloton allowed a breakaway to go clear, with 11 riders establishing a gap of no more than three minutes. BMC Racing Team controlled the race for the majority of the stage, while up the front the breakaway started to disperse when individual riders attacked. The peloton tackled a category 2 climb and three uncategorized climbs on the run in to the finish, which is where the breakaway was reeled in rider by rider.

Simon Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) launched his winning solo move with 4km to go, and Ben Hermans attacked from the General Classification group to launch his chase, finishing in fourth place. Atapuma finished in the main group to keep his red jersey for a third day and maintain his 28 second lead on the General Classification.

Ben Hermans:  “I was feeling great all day. It was a perfect race for me as we did a hard first 50km before the breakaway went. Orica-BikeExchange started the final really early! So that made the race super hard.

I still felt good on the final 2km climb so I gave it a chance. Coming from behind I had a bigger speed and wanted to jump across to Simon Yates and Daniel Moreno (Movistar Team) but I was blocked a moment and had to brake and restart my jump so I just couldn’t make it. I thought it was still possible to close the gap with two guys. Obviously Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling) wasn’t pulling but Moreno didn’t either.

So I had no chance and some guys came back to us in the end. Of course my legs give me confidence. That’s also why I try to stay up there with out leaders. It’s always good for your head too to finish in the front.”

Darwin Atapuma: “The stage today was quite hard, especially with the heat and at the beginning we had some climbs and descents. The team did a really good job to keep me well-positioned and keep the breakaway at a manageable position. The final part of the stage was really nervous and there were a lot of attacks. But I was always there so I was confident that I would keep the red jersey for another day.”

“I’m looking at the red jersey day by day and enjoying the moment. I don’t know exactly how long I can keep the jersey but for however long it lasts I’ll keep enjoying the moment. The team has really been doing great work to keep the jersey on my shoulders and I’m really grateful for their support.”




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