Vuelta: Stage 10

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Stage win for Nairo Quintana who takes time out of Chris Froome and GC rivals and goes back into the race lead on stage 10 of the Vuelta

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Vuelta: Stage 10

Event Press Release


Nairo Quintana set a few records straight with a superb show of strength in the 10th stage of the Vuelta at the Lagos de Covadonga, scene of a fantastic battle between the favorites. The Colombian, who had yet to win a stage in the Tour of Spain, finally did so in style after dropping all his rivals one by one before going on his own 3.5 km from the line.

He finally stole stage honors from Dutch escapee Robert Gesink (Lotto Nl-Jumbo), who bravely salvaged second place ahead of an astounding Chris Froome (Team Sky), who looked out of sorts in the beginning of the climb only to strike back in the finale and finish third, 25 seconds behind Quintana. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) was another of the day’s leading roles as he launched the hostilities six kilometers before the line.

182 riders started from Lugones at 12:42 under a cloudy sky. The nervous first hour of the race was marred by a series of crashes which forced Kevin Reza (FDJ), Markel Irizar (Trek-Segafredo) and Bartosz Huzarski (Bora-Argon 18) out of the Vuelta while former red jersey holder Darwin Atapuma (BMC) was held back.

Etixx-Quick Step leader Gianluca Brambilla was also trapped in a second bunch of some 30 riders and had to wait for kilometer 70 to make it back into the peloton. At the same moment, the day’s break took shape, involving the following 16 riders: Ben Hermans (BMC), Victor Camepanerts and Robert Gesink (Lotto NL-Jumbo), Dmitryi Gruzdev (Astana), Tobias Ludvigsson (Giant-Alpecin), Fabio Felline (Trek-Segafredo), Jan Bakelants (Ag2R-La Mondiale), Egor Silin (Katusha), Louis Vervaeke (Lotto-Soudal), Joe Dombrowski, Moreno Moser and Pierre Rolland (Cannondale-Drapac), Omar Fraile (Dimension Data), Vegard Staeke Laengen (IAM Cycling), Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) and Jose Gonçalves (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).

The group worked perfectly and saw their lead go up to reach 5:30 with 66 km to go. But the peloton, led by De la Cruz’s team-mates, cut the gap down to four minutes at the foot of the 1st category Alto del Mirador del Fito. At the top (km 148), Omar Fraile surged to pick 10 points.


He was joined in the descent by fellow-Spaniards Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) while Dombrowski crashed. The leading group split in the long flat section leading to the final ascent, losing Moser and Gruzdev. The pack, led jointly by Etixx-Quick Step and Movistar, came back within three minutes at the foot of the last climb.

Vervaeke was the first of the escapees to lift the gauntlet on the climb but he was quickly brought back by Rolland and what remained of the break.

Behind them, Movistar raised the pace and made it too hard for Chris Froome, who lost ground with 10 km to go. The help of Peter Kennaugh and then David Lopez looked useless at that stage. In the leading group, Rolland looked the freshest of the lot and he went at the 8-km-to-go mark, only to be caught by Gesink one kilometer later. The Dutchman, rejuvenated after a blank season, went on his own to clinch.

Quintana “Let’s hope this one is a jersey we can keep for a longer period! What I felt and saw today was wonderful – it really makes me confident that I can fight to win this Vuelta.

The battle for final victory took a decisive turn when Alberto Contador launched a blistering attack with 6 km to go. Only Quintana was able to react and stay with him while red jersey holder David de la Cruz lost ground, as did Estevan Chaves and Simon Yates (Orica-BikeExchange). Quintana bore the second blow with 4 km left to go on his own chasing for Gesink, leaving Contador hapless.

Further down the slope, Froome was finding a second breath and making up most of the lost time. The three-times Tour de France champion came back on all of his rivals but Quintana and Gesink, who salvaged a deserved second place and might have dreamt of more.

But the day belonged to Quintana, who now leads Chris Froome by 57 seconds overall and Alejandro Valverde by 58 seconds.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar): “Let’s hope this one is a jersey we can keep for a longer period! What I felt and saw today was wonderful – it really makes me confident that I can fight to win this Vuelta. I felt well all over the day, leaving aside that crash in the beginning. The great work by the whole team was visible today, and made for a bigger motivation to win and reward them with the stage. I had always dreamt to win here and I could make that dream come true today. It really makes me happy to put my name under this stage, and especially how we did it, together with the team. It would have been impossible without them.

“I felt myself strong in the beginning of the climb and it was easy to get into the right position, thanks to the fantastic pace by all of my team-mates, above all Rubén Fernández. He made it look easy and avoided all previous attacks. As I saw he was running out of gas, Alberto’s (Contador) attack came – I followed him and jumped twice to open the gaps with Froome and seek for the stage win. Chris remains pretty much close for the remainder of the race. We must to continue to pick up the pressure, doing the same we’ve done until this point: attacking and attacking to keep him further. Should we keep this minute we have when the Calpe TT looms, he’ll be the main favourite. I think three minutes would be a reasonable gap to tackle the time trial with calmness.

“It feels great to lead the race. I always trusted my abilities, but sometimes you feel better while other times your body reacts worse. Now that everything goes through the right path, I enjoy and live everything with great excitement. What my body asks from me at this point is saluting my whole family, especially my mum. She always prays for me so everything can go right. I just love her – he’s the best mum I could ever dream of having. Also, this goes for the team – they’ve made possible for me to fulfil these dreams. It’s not only about those in the Vuelta, but the whole group in general. Tomorrow? We’ll have to keep our legs rolling for a while and trying to recover after the early crash.”

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)“So, the Lagos? They were tough! (laughs). I really feel happy about today. Winning the stage with Nairo, finishing right behind Froome… I’m super happy. I’m even surprising myself. It’s my third Grand Tour of the year, already 10 stages in, many demanding ones… and we’re still in the mix.

I’m ‘enjoying’ the bike, between quotation marks as you endure lots of suffering. Results have been good up to this point, we’re offering spectacle to the fans and I just hope they’re enjoying our efforts. It’d be great to continue this way for long.

“I knew that Froome would come really fast from behind, and as Nairo attacked, I kept my own pace and stayed with Rubén, who set a fantastic pace. I was conserving some energy so as to follow Froome when he came past – even after his furious pace at the end, I only lost three seconds to him.

Froome isn’t surprising: he always drops back, he was even trailing by 40” halfway through the ascent, yet he overcomes riders at an impressive pace. It’s not the first time – we all know about his excellent abilities. GC-wise, this minute Nairo has on Froome isn’t much, but there’s a lot of mountains ahead. God knows we’ll give our all to increase that gap.”

Robert Gesink (Lotto Jumbo NL): “This was a nice day, it’s not fun that another rider was faster, but it gives me a good feeling,” said Gesink. He marked the attacks and then left his former escape companions behind. “It is not about who is the first to attack and who goes the fastest immediately, so I set my own pace and I quickly noticed that I could drop the others.

“Campenaerts did a good job, too. He ensured the speed stayed high when there was a lack of collaboration in the break. Even I went to the front a few times to set the pace because the majority were mainly concerned with the last climb, instead of maximising the lead we had.”

“My goal is to be good in the second part of the Vuelta,” Gesink continued. “My feeling is that today, the second part of the Vuelta began. “We all were in a difficult spot after Kruijswijk had to abandon. It lasted for days, but now we have turned things around.”


Alberto Contador: “Following Nairo in the final climb took its toll because he kept changing the rhythm. I had two options on how to do the race.

The first one was to try to go with Nairo and the second one to follow Froome because I thought I had Froome in 2012 and 2014, who had problems at the finish. I played the Nairo card and I made an error. He was very strong, he changed the rhythm and that made me blow up.

Afterwards, I had trouble getting back my pace. We know how Froome rides on the climbs, he focuses on his watts and sticks to that and everybody now knows his tactics but it worked brilliantly for him.”

“Tuesday we have a rest day and on Wednesday we resume the battle, hoping it gets better for us. The differences, for various reasons, are enormous and this makes the rest of the Vuelta an uphill struggle. However, we’ll keep on, taking it day-by-day in order to see what we can do.”

“I still think it’s too early to make a judgment on the Vuelta. I think we need to be calmer in order to take a decision. We have to assess the pros and cons, the circumstances and based on that decide what the best strategy will be. Obviously, my goal isn’t just to ride a good race, my goal is to fight for the overall win. It’s true though that right now this is quite difficult, I don’t want to use the word impossible because I don’t like it. We are still halfway through the Vuelta and on a day you have a crisis you can lose quite some time but we’ll keep on fighting.”  … continued after advert

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Simon Yates and has crept up to eighth on the general classification. Sport director Neil Stephens recognised the difficulty of the stage and praised the team’s efforts. “It was a really hectic stage right from the start,” said Stephens. “Simon (Yates) got caught up in one of the early crashes but thankfully there were no problems and the team went on to do another great job.”

“Hats off to Esteban and Simon for the way they performed together today, they both fought very hard and rode with strength and intelligence.

STAGE 10
1 QUINTANA Nairo MOVISTAR TEAM 04h 50′ 31”
2 GESINK Robert LOTTO NL -JUMBO @ 00′ 24”
3 FROOME Christopher TEAM SKY @ 00′ 25”
4 FRAILE Omar DIMENSION DATA @ 00′ 28”
5 VALVERDE Alejandro MOVISTAR TEAM @ 00′ 28”
6 SCARPONI Michele ASTANA PRO TEAM @ 00′ 28”
7 CHAVES Johan Esteban ORICA BIKEEXCHANGE @ 01′ 02”
8 CONTADOR Alberto TINKOFF @ 01′ 05”
9 YATES Simon ORICA BIKEEXCHANGE @ 01′ 09”
10 FELLINE Fabio TREK – SEGAFREDO @ 01′ 11”
11 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ Samuel BMC RACING TEAM @ 01′ 24”
12 PÉRAUD Jean-Christophe AG2R LA MONDIALE @ 01′ 31”
13 TALANSKY Andrew CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM @ 01′ 31”
14 SILIN Egor TEAM KATUSHA @ 01′ 31”
15 KONIG Leopold TEAM SKY @ 01′ 31”
16 FORMOLO Davide CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM @ 01′ 31”
17 PARDILLA Sergio CAJA RURAL – SEGUROS RGA @ 01′ 31”
18 LAENGEN Vegard Stake IAM CYCLING @ 01′ 31”
19 BRAMBILLA Gianluca ETIXX – QUICK STEP @ 01′ 34”
20 MATE MARDONES Luis Angel COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS @ 01′ 34”

26 KENNAUGH Peter TEAM SKY @ 02′ 25”
129 THWAITES Scott BORA-ARGON 18 @ 21′ 43”
164 CARTHY Hugh CAJA RURAL – SEGUROS RGA @ 26′ 46”

OVERALL
1 QUINTANA Nairo MOVISTAR TEAM 38h 37′ 07”
2 VALVERDE Alejandro MOVISTAR TEAM @ 00′ 57”
3 FROOME Christopher TEAM SKY @ 00′ 58”
4 CHAVES Johan Esteban ORICA BIKEEXCHANGE @ 02′ 09”
5 CONTADOR Alberto TINKOFF @ 02′ 54”
6 KONIG Leopold TEAM SKY @ 02′ 57”
7 DE LA CRUZ David ETIXX – QUICK STEP @ 03′ 03”
8 YATES Simon ORICA BIKEEXCHANGE @ 03′ 06”
9 SCARPONI Michele ASTANA PRO TEAM @ 03′ 14”
10 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ Samuel BMC RACING TEAM @ 03′ 20”
11 BRAMBILLA Gianluca ETIXX – QUICK STEP @ 03′ 49”
12 TALANSKY Andrew CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM @ 04′ 05”
13 MORENO FERNANDEZ Daniel MOVISTAR TEAM @ 04′ 20”
14 FORMOLO Davide CANNONDALE-DRAPAC PRO CYCLING TEAM @ 04′ 47”
15 ATAPUMA Darwin BMC RACING TEAM @ 05′ 02”
16 PARDILLA Sergio CAJA RURAL – SEGUROS RGA @ 05′ 11”
17 KENNAUGH Peter TEAM SKY @ 05′ 22”
18 FELLINE Fabio TREK – SEGAFREDO @ 05′ 50”
19 PÉRAUD Jean-Christophe AG2R LA MONDIALE @ 06′ 06”
20 BENNETT George LOTTO NL -JUMBO @ 06′ 12”

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