Vuelta a Espana: Stage 16 TT

Britain’s Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) has extended his lead at the Vuelta a Espana with a strong time trial performance on stage 16 – winner was Rohan Dennis – reactions from Yates, Dennis, Valverde and Quintana

RST Cycle Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Vuelta a Espana: Stage 16 TT

Britain’s Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) has extended his lead at the Vuelta a Espana with a strong time trial performance on stage 16 – winner was Rohan Dennis – reactions from Yates, Dennis, Valverde and Quintana

Simon Yates. Pic: Getty Images

Britain’s Simon Yates has extended his lead at the Vuelta a Espana with a strong time trial performance on stage 16. The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider finished 13th on the stage, won by Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team), and extended his overall lead to Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) to 33seconds whilst their fellow contenders shuffled around below.

The 35km suited the specialist time triallists with winner Dennis averaging over 50km per hour. Yates tried to pace himself on the first section of the race, before putting it all on the line to the finish. The 26-year-old was sixth fastest at the first intermediate checkpoint after 10km and the second after 21km before sacrificing a few positions in the closing kilometres.

Yates’ performance for 13th place saw him lose time to Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Enric Mas (Quickstep Floors) but gain on his other competitors. Valverde lost nine seconds to Yates, whilst Colombian duo Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) lost 42 seconds and 51 seconds each. Yates now has 33 seconds to Valverde, 52 seconds to Kruijswijk, one-minute 15 seconds to Quintana, one-minute 30 seconds to Mas and one-minute 34 seconds to Lopez.

Simon Yates: “I did a really good ride, I was really well in the very beginning and on the hard climbs I had the perfect pacing strategy, but in the final, I was just dying like everybody else and it wasn’t nice.”

“Thirty-three seconds over Valverde is not that much, I had much more of an advantage in the Giro, over a minute and we all know how that finished in the end, but there’s still a long way to here and we’ll see how tomorrow goes.

“Kruijswijk has been strong everyday so far and slowly getting better with each stage. He’s also normally good in the third week of a Grand Tour and a real diesel engine. He’s a good guy and now he’s up to third we’ll have to be very wary of him.”


… continued after advert


Rohan Dennis: “It was a good little hit out. I tried to control it at the start and finish and make my move in the middle section and it worked out perfectly. I knew I was on a good one just looking at my power on the Garmin. Really, I didn’t know what Kwiatkowski and some of these later guys could do. All I knew was what Castroviejo was doing at that time and he’s a pretty good indicator of if you are doing well or not. But, I think the big performance of the day goes to Joey Rosskopf. He’s the best teammate, easiest guy to be at the back of the bus with, and he got second so I’m really happy for him.”

Photo: Getty Images

“I just stuck to my plan today. My coach and I set a target for each climb and the pacing and I just stayed calm. Really, in the final it was just about controlling it after the hills. In the back of my mind I was thinking that in two weeks’ time I have to go 20 kilometers longer so try to control this and hopefully you can still get the win, and don’t destroy yourself. I was hoping there would be a big gap between the other riders and me, but I was surprised that Kwiatkowski wasn’t up there more but he’s had a bad run with a few crashes and he’s been going for the GC so he’s been using much more energy than me each day. I’ve been able to relax and save it for today and I’m happy that it was my teammate Joey who got second.”

After winning both time trials, your goal coming into the race, you now leave the race to focus on your next goal. How is everything looking for the World Championships? “Everything is looking good for the World Championships. I’ll be heading home now and preparing specifically for the time trial and team time trial, so hopefully I will have one more box ticked by the end of the season.

So far, I think the Vuelta has been the best preparation for the Worlds in Innsbruck. It has been tough, especially the first nine days with the heat which really knocked me around. Luckily, it started to cool down and I started to feel better and better. I’d rather feel better as I get further into a Grand Tour than worse. So, I think this race has been the perfect preparation for the World Championships.

Alejandro Valverde: “Overall, I felt fine during today’s effort. To be honest, I was trying to clock a good early reference and went really strong. Then, halfway through the TT, where the headwinds were heavier, I struggled a bit more to find a good pace. However, I was able to gain some time back again into the last few kilometers, which means that I was able to finish strong. I think I did a good time trial – it was just that Yates, Mas and Kruijswijk were better.

“Me as only team leader? I don’t think that should be the case. You can say I’m closer to Yates than Nairo, but Nairo’s still there, and having the two of us up there, able to contest the red jersey, is something which should benefit the team as a whole much. I’m 38 years old, and if I have to switch my role to a top lieutenant one, I won’t hesitate. We’ll have to play our strategy well tomorrow. The finish in Balcón de Bizkaia is an explosive one, which suits Yates really well, not only me. It will be five against Yates, but he’s showing to be really strong in the race. In my case, it doesn’t matter what happens in the next few days: I’m really happy with what I’ve achieved in this Vuelta, and if I crack at any point, I’ll remain as happy.”

Nairo Quintana: “I think we defended ourselves well and rode at a decent pace, considering our characteristics. We already knew we were going to lose time, but I think we did fine. We’ll just have to carry on and try to make this gap up in the next few days. There’s three decisive mountain stages coming up now, Balcón de Bizkaia should be key. All the energy we squeezed out of our legs today could be a crucial factor on tomorrow’s developments. My legs continue to hurt, that’s normal – but we’ve got to continue fighting. The really good thing for us is that Valverde is still doing strong, and that’s important for the team. Having another chance for the GC is a double threat for our rivals and a double opportunity for our team.“
… continued after advert


1 Rohan Dennis BMC Racing Team 50.593
2 Joey Rosskopf BMC Racing Team 0:50
3 Jonathan Castroviejo Team Sky
4 Steven Kruijswijk Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:51
5 Michał Kwiatkowski Team Sky

13 Simon Yates Mitchelton-Scott 1:28
14 Ion Izagirre Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team 1:29
15 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team 1:35
17 Wilco Kelderman Team Sunweb 1:40
18 Steve Cummings Team Dimension Data 48.282 1:49
26 Nairo Quintana Movistar Team 2:10
27 Thibaut Pinot Groupama – FDJ 2:11
28 Rigoberto Urán Team EF Education First-Drapac 2:16
32 Matthias Brändle Trek – Segafredo
57 Fabio Aru UAE-Team Emirates 3:43
62 Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott 4:01
63 Vincenzo Nibali Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team 4:02
71 Richie Porte BMC Racing Team
87 Tao Geoghegan Hart Team Sky 4:46
99 Bauke Mollema Trek – Segafredo 44.755 ,,
107 Peter Sagan BORA – hansgrohe 5:16

1 Simon Yates Mitchelton-Scott 64:52:58
2 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team 0:33
3 Steven Kruijswijk Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:52
4 Nairo Quintana Movistar Team 1:15
5 Enric Mas Quick-Step Floors 1:30
6 Miguel López Astana Pro Team 1:34
7 Thibaut Pinot Groupama – FDJ 2:53
8 Ion Izagirre Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team 3:04
9 Rigoberto Urán Team EF Education First-Drapac 3:15
10 Tony Gallopin AG2R La Mondiale 4:43


Cycle Division’s Shop

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: ,