Team News: Yates 3rd on GC in Vuelta

Simon Yates of Mitchelton-Scott ‘accidentally’ gains time on first summit finish at La Vuelta (stage 4)

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Team News: Yates 3rd on GC in Vuelta

Three-time Giro d’Italia stage winner Simon Yates has gained 25 seconds on his general classification rivals on stage four of the Vuelta a Espana, despite an intention to ride conservatively in the first week.

Pic: Getty Images

“I didn’t mean to,” was the first reaction of the Mitchelton-SCOTT rider over the line, after he took advantage of a lapse in action in the final five kilometres as the breakaway won the stage ahead.

Michael Kwiatowski (Team Sky) maintained his race lead, but 26-year-old Yates has moved up to third overall and reduced the deficit back to ten seconds.

A day for the break
After a short battle, nine riders formed the breakaway and immediately started to build a handy advantage. As the kilometres ticked on and noone joined race leaders Team Sky at the front of the bunch, the gap only extended, reaching a maximum of nine minutes 45seconds with 25km to go.

The breakaway reached the bottom of the final climb with plenty of time to the peloton and battled it out for the stage win. Ben King (Dimension Data) claimed the stage ahead of Nikita Stalov (Astana Pro Team). Behind, Lotto-Jumbo set a fast tempo through the narrow roads at the bottom of the climb and shed the general classification group down to less than 20 riders.  When the Dutch team ran out of workers, the tempo immediately eased and Yates made a split decision to continue on, thinking his rivals would follow.

Hesitation from his competitors saw a gap open up and he drove to the line with a 25-second gain on Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) and 27-second gain on Kwiatowski and the other overall contenders.
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Simon Yates: “It wasn’t the plan (to attack), I got carried away but I felt good and I saw an opportunity there. Lotto-Jumbo were running a good tempo through the town but seemed to fall apart or slow down a bit and I thought I would keep going and that was it really. I don’t really know what I was doing. Maybe I was testing the guys and was thinking someone would come with me straight away but that was that.

“I didn’t mean to. I’m not trying to be cocky or anything, it was just one of those things and when I tried once, I got away. It looks like I have gained the time I lost in the other part of the race, in the prologue and the other day with the little kicker, so yeah, it was a good day.”

Stage 4
1. Ben King Team Dimension Data 4:33:12
2. Nikita Stalnov Astana Pro Team @ 0:02
3. Pierre Rolland Team EF Education First-Drapac @ 0:13

8. Simon Yates Mitchelton-Scott @ 2:48
12. Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team @ 3:13
13. Michał Kwiatkowski Team Sky @ 3:15
14. Nairo Quintana Movistar Team
16. Thibaut Pinot Groupama – FDJ
17. Steven Kruijswijk Team LottoNL-Jumbo
18. Ion Izagirre Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team
20. Wilco Kelderman Team Sunweb
21. Rigoberto Urán Team EF Education First-Drapac
23. George Bennett Team LottoNL-Jum
24. Fabio Aru UAE-Team Emirates
25. Rafał Majka BORA – hansgrohe

1. Michał Kwiatkowski Team Sky 13:47:19
2. Emanuel Buchmann BORA – hansgrohe 0:07
3. Simon Yates Mitchelton-Scott 0:10
4. Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team 0:12
5. Wilco Kelderman Team Sunweb 0:25
6. Ion Izagirre Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team 0:30
7. Tony Gallopin AG2R La Mondiale 0:33
8. Nairo Quintana Movistar Team
9. Steven Kruijswijk Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:37
10. Enric Mas Quick-Step Floors 0:42

12. Thibaut Pinot Groupama – FDJ 0:43
13. George Bennett Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:45
14. Miguel López Astana Pro Team 0:46
15. Fabio Aru UAE-Team Emirates 0:47
16. Rigoberto Urán Team EF Education First-Drapac 0:48


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