Vuelta: Stage 10

Matteo Trentin powered to another spectacular win at the Vuelta a España, exactly one week after opening his account at the race, in Tarragona. Meanwhile, in the GC race, Nicholas Roche steals some time back

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Vuelta: Stage 10

Matteo Trentin powered to another spectacular win at the Vuelta a España, exactly one week after opening his account at the race, in Tarragona. Meanwhile, in the GC race, Nicholas Roche steals some time back

Photo: Tim DeWaele

The race for the stage win saw the 28-year-old Trentin come out on top in the Murcia region where he arrived at the finish together with Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar) and outsprinted the Spaniard with ease, taking not only the victory, but also the green jersey, which he’ll wear tomorrow for the sixth day at this edition.

The race resumed Tuesday afternoon with a 164.8km stage between Caravaca Jubilar and ElPozo, which had to wait for more than 80 kilometers to be covered before a breakaway finally formed. When this happened, Quick-Step Floors duo Niki Terpstra and Matteo Trentin were there, part of an 18-man move which quickly gained five minutes over the peloton led by the red jersey’s team.

Everybody knew that the day’s critical points will be the first-category climb of Collado Bermejo (7.7 kilometers, 6.5%) and the subsequent downhill, where narrow, twisty and treacherous roads awaited the riders, so the status quo soon went up in smoke and the group disintegrated as a result of several attacks. Distanced, Matteo linked with Niki Terpstra on the first slopes of the ascent, and the former Paris-Roubaix winner paced him before the Italian upped the tempo and bridged to the leading trio.

The four crested the top of the climb with a 30-second gap over their former breakaway companions and on the descent they even managed to extend that advantage before the group split under Rojas’ impetus, who tried to go solo. Only Trentin could take the wheel of the home rider and the two changed turns at the front, so by the time the terrain flatted out, it became clear they will contest the win on stage ten.

Matteo led under the flamme rouge, but soon Rojas moved to the front and opened the sprint, with 400 meters remaining. The Quick-Step Floors rider patiently bided his time before coming out of his opponent’s wheel, surging past the Spaniard and kicking out a devastating acceleration, which propelled him to his fifth Grand Tour victory.

Trentin: “I was thinking of this stage for a while now and the plan was to get in the breakaway, knowing there was a solid chance it could stick. I knew the last climb was a hard one, but I rode my own tempo and then, in the downhill, I just followed Rojas, aware he is a good descender and also that he knows the roads, being from Murcia. I am really happy with my second win here, our team is having a fantastic Vuelta a España and we hope to add other good results to our impressive tally in the next stages”, Matteo said at the finish, following Quick-Step Floors’ 14th Grand Tour victory of the year.


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Chris Froome (Sky) “I wasn’t prepared to take any risks today, I’m in such a good position and I knew there was a lot of road from the bottom of the climb to the finish line so I just took it easy with my teammates and kept everything together. We’re in a fantastic position and I wasn’t going to risk it pushing on that descent. With Roche gaining time overall, Froome was quick to praise his former teammate as he moved closer overall.

He said: “I think Nico did a great ride, he seems to be in fantastic form int he Vuelta and congratulations to him. He’s sitting tied second now so he’s done a really good ride. It’s a very different stage tomorrow with an uphill finish, a couple of climbs so we’re going to really get into the guts of the Vuelta now.”

Nicolas Roche: The Irish rider consolidated his third place on the General Classification on stage 10 with an attack on the descent of the Collado Bermejo that saw him cross the finish line 29 seconds in front of race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky). Roche’s time gain sees him remain in third place but trail Froome by 36 seconds and equal the time of Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) who sits in second place.

“It was a good day. It wasn’t really planned to go on the descent but when I saw Vincenzo Nibali making a gap, I tried to get around the other GC riders and came back onto Vincenzo and then opened a bit of a gap. I said “let’s go and see what happens”. Today, the pace was quite high and you could see that everybody was still there until the last kilometer when Vincenzo did a proper attack. I think there are 10 or 12 riders who are on a very similar level.”

“I’ve never been here. I know not the worst descender in the peloton and I thought today could be an opportunity. I had a few scares in those hairpins. I’m not a big fan of those descent finishes but today it worked out. Tomorrow is going to be very different. I know the shape is there, I’m definitely in great condition but tomorrow is definitely a big test with the high mountains.

“I haven’t been doing anything crazy. I was always in the back of that little group making sure that I don’t throw away energy going after everything. So, I think I rode pretty conservatively trying to hang on on those steep mountains. Today was the only day when I gave it a proper go in the final and my legs were in bits when I crossed the line.”

Tejay van Garderen: “It was pretty hectic. There were some splits happening, it was super quick, lots of racing and then full gas on the climb and full gas on the descent so we’re back in the swing of things. I feel pretty good. Today was kind of an appetizer for the mountains to come. I think it was a good test. It was nice to see Nico being aggressive and gaining some time and me sticking with the leaders. So, I think so far, so good.”

Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) “I’ve tried because I thought it could have been a good stage for me – said Sanchez after the stage – unfortunately I’ve found some guys stronger than me in the climb and also we spent so much in the first part of the race to try to catch the break… congrats to them.”

Fabio Aru (Astana): “We really risked a lot on that Collado Bermejo descent – commented Fabio Aru after the stage – “the roads were wet and really narrow: it was quite difficult to control the bike… anyway, nothing happened among the GC guys and I think it is good this way for us.”

José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar, 2nd on stage): “It was clear that Trentin was the worst contender we could fight for a stage against; he’s the best sprinter in this Vuelta. Finding him through a Cat-1 climb, in the roads of Murcia, just next to your home… It’s sad we didn’t really have a chance today. As we’ve said many times during this race, we must not stop trying, and for the moment we’ve snatched two third places, this second…”

“We must continue to think that tomorrow’s stage will be the good one. I had things planned on my mind, I knew what I had to do because I knew the terrain, but in the end, I could only try to sneak a way past Trentin into the descent, because he was so strong on the climbs, and coming into a sprint we knew we couldn’t beat him. However, we weren’t looking at him in the first place as a real contender. Before the Collado Bermejo, I was talking to Pablo Lastras, who was driving the DS car next to the break, and we agreed that ‘Luisle’ could be our biggest rival, since he knew the climb and was one of the best riders uphill into that group. Once we saw Trentin was staying there, our only opportunity was dropping him into the downhill, but we didn’t succeed.”

Alberto Contador: “Nibali’s attack was quite predictable, so we knew we had to be careful in the downhill,” said Contador. “Nibali tried, but I followed him quite well, and finally the group arrived together. I suppose he felt good but when he attacked we followed his wheel. It was a complicated descent because it had wet stretches and other dry ones, which is the most dangerous, but we were able to overcome it without problems.”

The contenders foiled Nibali’s move, catching back the Italian after he had opened a small gap, but then a shrewd Roche slipped away near the bottom. “Nicolas rode very strongly on the descent and then on the flat, and gained a few seconds,” answered Contador when asked if it was an oversight to let Roche go, then repeated: “No, he was riding very strongly.”

“Overall it was a hard day, and above all fast, we have done an average of 45 km/h and in the first two hours more than 50 km/h under the rainstorm,” exclaimed Contador. “It seems untrue that we are in Murcia – there has been more water today than all summer. But we had a good day, and we got through without problems.

“Tomorrow there are very hard climbs, and after a day like today, with the rain and fast pace, the legs become hard and swollen. It is important to massage and recover and will see how we are tomorrow.”

Stage 10
1. Matteo Trentin Quick-Step Floors
2. Joaquín Rojas Movistar Team 0:01
3. Jaime Roson Caja Rural – Seguros RGA 0:19
4. Jacques Janse van Rensburg Dimension Data 0:21
5. Alexandre Geniez AG2R La Mondiale 0:56
6. Marc Soler Movistar Team 0:59
7. Luis Leon Sanchez Astana Pro Team 2:22
8. Alessandro De Marchi BMC Racing Team
9. Arnaud Courteille FDJ 2:40
10. Rafael Reis Caja Rural – Seguros RGA 3:05

12. Nicolas Roche BMC Racing Team 4:03
13. Jack Haig ORICA-Scott 4:32
19. Adam Yates ORICA-Scott
21. Alberto Contador Trek – Segafredo
24. Chris Froome Team Sky
25. Vincenzo Nibali Bahrain Merida
26. Esteban Chaves ORICA-Scott
28. Wilco Kelderman Team Sunweb
29. Sam Oomen Team Sunweb
31. Fabio Aru Astana Pro Team
32. Michael Woods Cannondale-Drapac
33. Tejay van Garderen BMC Racing Team
38. Louis Meintjes UAE Team Emirates
92. Simon Yates ORICA-Scott 14.39

1. Chris Froome, Team Sky
2. Esteban Chaves ORICA-Scott 0:36
3. Nicolas Roche BMC Racing Team
4. Vincenzo Nibali Bahrain Merida 1:17
5. Tejay van Garderen BMC Racing Team 1:27
6. David de la Cruz Quick-Step Floors 1:30
7. Fabio Aru Astana Pro Team 1:33
8. Michael Woods Cannondale-Drapac 1:52
9. Adam Yates ORICA-Scott 1:55
10. Ilnur Zakarin Team Katusha – Alpecin 2:15
11. Wilco Kelderman Team Sunweb 2:31
12. Sam Oomen Team Sunweb 3:04
13. Alberto Contador Trek – Segafredo 3:32
14. Wout Poels Team Sky 3:45
15. Miguel Ángel López Astana Pro Team 4:29
16. Louis Meintjes UAE Team Emirates 4:42
17. Steven Kruijswijk Team LottoNL-Jumbo 4:46
18. Igor Anton Dimension Data 5:54
19. Mikel Nieve Team Sky 7:24
20. Jaime Roson Caja Rural – Seguros RGA 8:08

33. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale 21:14
35. Simon Yates ORICA-Scott 23:28



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