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“Esteban got to the finish, looked around and saw a few tired people. The last few kilometres of the climb really suited him so he thought he would give it everything to take advantage of the opportunity to gain any seconds."

Photo: Sirotti






05.09.2015 @ 23:03 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Two-time stage winner Esteban Chaves has moved up into fourth position overall after a strong climb to eighth place on stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espana.


Whilst an unthreatening break battled for the stage result, all eyes were back in the peloton on the final 18km hors category ascent as Astana Pro Team set a brutal pace.


Race leader Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team) launched an unsuccessful attack to kick off the action before others also tried their luck to create gaps.


Movistar’s Nairo Quintana was one of the biggest winners of the day as the top placed general classification rider whilst ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Chaves also looked strong, taking time on his nearest rivals Tom Dumoulin (Giant Alpecin) and Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo) to move into fourth overall.


“I feel tired,” Chaves said honestly when asked how he felt. “It was a really hard stage, long, and in the final four kilometres Astana was a really strong team, unbelievable, they reminded me of the Giro. 


“Today I (could) stay with the best riders and I am really happy. The team worked really hard again and most important is to keep this position on general classification.


"I'm very happy for Quintana. Yesterday he was suffering a lot and today he rode an amazing race. He really has big class."


Starting the day in fifth position overall, the priority was protection but, once again, the 25-year-old rode smartly to capitalise on an opportunity on the road.


“We identified that today wouldn’t produce any great differences in the general classification and we were happy to try to maintain the position we were in,” sport director Neil Stephens said.


“Esteban got to the finish, looked around and saw a few tired people. The last few kilometres of the climb really suited him so he thought he would give it everything to take advantage of the opportunity to gain any seconds that could become important at some stage.


“It’s a good sign for the next couple of days, which will be really solid racing and it’s great to know that his teammates are also responding very well.”



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