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”I want to figure this out in the next two years. I like time trials and I’d like to be a grand tour rider. If I can’t do that I’ll focus on the classics but I don’t want to set any limit.”

Photo: Sirotti

VUELTA A ESPAÑA

RACE PROFILE
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NEWS
02.09.2016 @ 21:52 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida) confirmed that he is one of the most exciting Italian talents when he claimed his first grand tour stage win on stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana. On a day when the peloton took it easy and allowed the break to gain more than 20 minutes, the Italian attacked his companions in a 12-rider group and then soloed to victory, crossing the line almost a minute ahead of Danilo Wyss (BMC) and Sergey Lagutin (Katusha) who led the chasers home. The peloton rolled steadily to the finish and so Nairo Quintana (Movistar) retained the lead.

 

We have gathered several reactions

 

Valerio Conti: I want to become a grand tour rider

The coursewhetted the appetite of Valerio Conti, who joined an attack attempt after 20km. Conti gauged his effort well and made his winning move in the best moment on a climb went 20km to. LAMPRE-MERIDA’s climber went clear from his former breakaway mates and he could build an advantage of 1′, which gave him the opportunity to enjoy the feelings of approaching the finish as solo leader of the stage and of obtaining the first victory in a Grand Tour, the third in his career (in addition to the Izu stage in the 2015 Tour of Japan and the 2014Gp Beghelli).

 

“I’m more than happy with this victory, it’s a huge satisfaction for me and for the team,” Conti explained. “In the past days my feelings were not as good as I would have liked, however I did not give up my aims for this Vuelta and today I tried once again to attack.

 

”It is the third time in a row after the rest day that at least one LAMPRE-MERIDA athlete joins the main breakaway of the stage, today I succeeded in adding the highest value to our efforts.

 

“The hardest part of the day was the battle to go clear from the bunch, then the peloton did not do an intense chase, so we could save our energy. I had good feelings and I chose the best moment to attack: I was even surprised to see how fast I could go when I was in the front of the race. Thanks to the whole team and to all the sponsors.

 

"It was not a very hard finish, but the race has been really difficult up to now and we all noticed that on such a long stage like this one.

 

"We knew that this breakaway would get to the finish because it was such a massive gap. It was the right move to try to win. I'd started off feeling a bit rough when the break started, but finally when the move reached the finish, my legs were better and I gave it absolutely everything I could on the hardest part of the finishing circuit.

 

"It was the perfect day for me and the perfect break. I can even say that I am the happiest man in the world today.

 

“It’s my first win in a Grand Tour. I didn’t have best legs at the start of the Vuelta, and today, but I kept getting better as the day went on and I took my chance in the finale.

 

“I was only thinking about giving my maximum until the finish line. Today was a perfect day, the perfect breakaway, I just went full gas in the hardest part and gave everything until the end with the support of my sports director. I want to thank all the staff, the sports directors, the mechanics, the soigneurs, everyone. I’m the happiest man on earth.

 

”I’m really young it’s only my third year as a pro. After this year’s Giro I became more mature physically and psychologically. Today is the day I had been waiting for. I’d like to think this victory is the beginning of a bright future.

 

”My objective in this Vuelta is to be in the break and I’ve been trying every day. If I can’t do that I just stay in the peloton to work for my team mates. I’m not riding for GC here. Today I was lucky because I took the good break and it was the perfect day for it. Everything went my way.

 

”I want to figure this out in the next two years. I like time trials and I’d like to be a grand tour rider. If I can’t do that I’ll focus on the classics but I don’t want to set any limit.”

 

Disappointed Danilo Wyss: I do not get many chances like this

Danilo Wyss came close to claiming his first Grand Tour stage win on stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana, which saw him sprint for second place behind solo winner Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida).

 

Wyss was one of 12 riders to make the day’s breakaway and unlike previous stages when the peloton has controlled the break, the bunch was happy to let the group go clear.

 

With all 12 riders more than one hour behind race leader Nairo Quintana on the General Classification, the group established a huge gap and finished almost 34 minutes in front of the peloton.

 

The attacks from the breakaway started with 25km to go, which saw multiple riders go clear, including Wyss, before eventually coming back together. Conti attacked inside the final 20km and managed to go clear, crossing the line 55 seconds in front of Wyss’ group.

 

Wyss battled it with three other riders of the original breakaway in the sprint for second place.

 

With the large gap between the breakaway and peloton on the finish line, BMC Racing Team now leads the team classification, 14’01” in front of Astana Pro Team.

 

Danilo Wyss said:

 

“For me it was a really good day. I knew this stage would be a good day for a breakaway like this and it was a really good situation with all of the guys out of GC, really far. It was a good parcours for me with some climbs but not too hard, so I was really looking at the other guys and I knew I had a good shot today.

 

”When I saw Conti going at 20km to go, I thought maybe he was going to kill himself but obviously he was really strong. I was feeling really good and I was really hoping that we would catch Conti in the final and I could go for the stage in the sprint. We didn’t catch him, I still got the second place with a good sprint at the end.

 

”For me I’m often one of the workers in BMC Racing Team so I don’t have many opportunities like this. It’s a good day for me but I’m a bit disappointed to miss this victory.

 

“I’m disappointed because I was feeling really well and I thought I had the legs to win. In this great BMC team I haven’t had many opportunities like this this season, I’m often here to help. It was a good breakaway but I think that Conti was the strongest. When he went, I told myself it was a bit too far out (for a single rider) after 200 kilometres with five riders working together behind. He did something really strong.”

 

Sports director Valerio Piva added:

 

“It was a good move from Danilo Wyss. We have tried from the beginning and today was clear that there was also a chance, and Danilo was in the breakaway so it was perfect. There was no GC danger and he was strong. But I think Conti was clever and also strong because he immediately made a gap. You also need to have some luck in this situation. Danilo was strong and was good for the second place, which is also good for us.

 

”With this move we jump now to the head of the team classification so that it also something good for the team. We need to try again. I think we are good and not far from a victory, but we need to try again the next day and focus on the GC with Samuel Sanchez. But of course to win a stage is also an objective.”

 

Sergey Lagutin aims to defend mountains jersey at the Vuelta a Espana

With one stage win under his belt and another in his blood, Team KATUSHA’s Sergey Lagutin put himself in position to contest the final in Friday’s stage 13 in the 71st La Vuelta. One rider was up the road by almost one-minute however, and Lagutin was forced to sprint in from the remains of his breakaway group to take third place on the same time as Danilo Wyss of BMC. But the day’s efforts paid off in the return of the mountain jersey to the back of Lagutin and he leads that classification by one-point to race leader Nairo Quinatna of Movistar.

 

”I didn’t start the day thinking I would go for the mountain jersey, but I found myself again in the breakaway and I knew there were many mountain points available, so I figured why not try for it. Sports director Gennady Mikhaylov told me if I could win all of the points on today’s stage that I could win the jersey back. That became my first goal of the day,” explained Sergey Lagutin, winner of last week’s stage 8.

 

“The second goal became to get on the podium or win the stage. We were a group of 12 in the breakaway and when Conti went away, it was clear he was the strongest one. At the end there were five of us really chasing after him and we kept losing more and more time, so he was definitely the best. It’s possible if I had not been trying for the GPM points I could have done more for the stage win, but I felt good all day and I was keeping up with the best riders all day on the up and down. It was a risk I took and it was third place for me on the stage,” said a satisfied Lagutin.

 

“I would have been super happy to win another stage but you know, some riders were stronger and I’m satisfied with my third place and the polka dot jersey. It was good to be in the breakaway all day.

 

“I will try to keep the jersey as long as possible. Tomorrow is another hard stage, there will be some real climbs so I will see. I’m in a good shape so definitely I will try to keep it as long as possible.”

 

Despite an earlier injury, Lagutin continues to look forward to some stages in the last week.

 

“My fingers still hurt but they are getting better and better – it mostly hurts when the road is bumpy. For sure I will finish this Vuelta. I look forward to the third week,” concluded Sergey Lagutin.

 

Michael Gogl close to first pro win at the Vuelta

The longest day led to the strongest breakaway of this year’s edition of the Vuelta. The Austrian rider, Michael Gogl, took the opportunity to jump in an early escape, which quickly built up a huge advantage of more than twenty minutes on the peloton – the biggest of this year’s race. After a late attack from the break took the stage win, he fought it out for fourth place after his strongest performance of the race so far and a career-best finish.

 

From the finish line, Sport Director, Lars Michaelsen, was impressed by both Gogl’s performance and his maturity as a racer in his first year as a professional.

 

“We knew this would be one of the stages where a breakaway could go and stay away. We had a few guys lined up to try and go in the move, Gogl was keen to go and he did a great job. Sometimes you forget he’s a neo pro – he rides in a mature way – strong – and looks after Alberto well.”

 

In his first Grand Tour, Gogl was pleased with his finish – taking his career-best result.

 

“It was a long, long day – the longest day of La Vuelta. We have had two tough stages in the past couple of days, so it was hard, hard, hard. First Jelle Wallays went, so I went with him as he’s a really strong rider. They caught up and Conti went and was really strong, so he’s a deserved winner today.”

 

Gogl was learning from every race experience, and his Sport Director, Michaelsen, was quick to support his development after today’s strong finish.

 

“Since there was no chase behind everyone came quite fresh into the final. Michael took a chance going away with Jelle Wallays with 30km to go. It was a good chance, something to try. One thing to say is that he could have finished second, but he had a gap to close, which cost him. Of course we’re racing to win and today there was one guy stronger. Still, chapeau to Michael. Behind in the bunch there were no issues for the guys and they finished safely after a steady day.”

Finishing in the peloton after a slower-paced day, Alberto Contador explained the bunch’s slower speed.

 

“It was a very long day and we took it more calmly, especially in the finale. We now have to focus on tomorrow, the Queen Stage. That's why the peloton had a slower pace behind the breakaway. We have been through a lot of demanding days with high temperatures and tomorrow we have long climbs with more than 5,000m of altitude gains, so we will need all the energy we have.“

 

As the Vuelta heads into France for a day, the riders will face the toughest day of climbing of the race so far. Three first category climbs will drain even the strongest riders, with gradients reaching almost 14%, before the final, especial climb, where the roads ramp up to 15% on the Aubisque over its 16.5km distance. The GC riders will be looking to take time here, but who will have the energy after a full day’s climbing?

 

Having ridden a hard stage today, Gogl was already looking ahead to support Alberto Contador on tomorrow’s demanding stage.

 

“In a team like Tinkoff we really want to take the GC with Alberto, but today I had my chance and I took it and I’m happy with the result. It’s a really tough mountain stage tomorrow and I’ll recover from today now to get ready for tomorrow.”

 

After such hard efforts in recent days, Contador was relieved the peloton took it easy behind today’s break.

 

“It wasn't something we had planned today, it was just a question of fatigue. Our legs have gone through a lot of effort, every day, so, I think tomorrow will be a different story. It will be a very important day and if you think about it, that will be the first stage with true, long climbs at the Vuelta, with the exception of the finish to Lagos de Covadonga, the rest have been nearly all explosive finishes. Tomorrow, it will be very important to have a good form."

 

Vegard Stake Laengen: I must admit that I was not the strongest

Vegard Stake Laengen (IAM) finished fifth.

 

“The breakaway was established rather quickly, and soon we understood that the peloton was not interested in catching us before the finish. Lots of the guys in the pack needed a break from hard racing. But within the escape group, we were attacking each other constantly on the final circuit. When Valerio Conti (Lampre Merida) went, I was just behind him.  I tried to catch him several times, but after all the effort I was pretty empty. It’s really infuriating to get so close to the stage victory. But I have to admit I was not the strongest today.”

 

Sports director Mario Chiesa added:

 

“Vegard is a very strong rider, and definitely able to perform well in time trials. Being with him in a breakaway is not an easy thing. He is so strong that he can quickly have his opponents in the red. But he may be missing a touch of experience. This season is his first at the World Tour level. I’m sure he will quickly mature enough to start taking the victories. And then he will be even more formidable.”

 

Dries Devenyns kept full hold on his sensitivity and good aim throughout this thirteenth stage. While rolling near the rear of the pack, the Belgian rider did not hesitate to lean low to his side and hand his water bottle to a child, while still riding at full speed.

 

Yves Lampaert: Conti caught the back of the motorbike

Yves Lampaert, who during the first half of the race guided Gianni Meersman to victory in Baiona and protected the team's GC leaders on the flat, went into the escape on Friday and put in a gutsy ride on the rolling terrain which took the riders through the Basque Country, but also for some short visits over the border, in France, on the same day in which the organizers announced that next year's edition will depart from Nîmes.

 

It was only in the final 30 kilometers that the front riders stopped working together, going instead for solo attacks. Michael Gogl (Tinkoff) and Jelle Wallays (Lotto-Soudal) were the first to attack, but despite a 20-second advantage they were brought back by the chasers. The status quo continued for just a few more kilometers, until Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida) powered away on a small unclassified climb and cranked up the pace, leaving his breakaway companions.

 

Despite losing the contact on another hill, Yves Lampert made it back to the chasing group thanks to his impressive descending skills, bridging across in the final kilometer, a twisty and uphill one. His effort netted the 25-year-old Grand Tour rookie a 6th place at the finish, where Lampaert arrived less than one minute behind the winner. It was the 9th stage (out of 13) at the Vuelta a España that Etixx – Quick-Step finished with a rider in the top 10 standings. Teammate David De La Cruz continues to rest in 9th place in the overall rankings, after concluding the day in the peloton, 34 minutes later.


“It was very hot for a long day in the saddle and when Conti attacked, he caught the back of a motorbike and he was strong. Between the five the collaboration was good but not excellent. I got dropped in the last climb but I came back 500 metres from the finish and I attacked but unfortunately I finished sixth,” Lampart said.

 

Cesare Benedetti: This was not the result I wanted

It day was really good for BORA – ARGON 18. Cesare Benedetti was in the breakaway right away from the start and delivered a good performance.  He missed this final attack and was therefore in the second chasing group. He finished the stage in 7th place.

 

“We tried it once again today. It was clear after the last few days that we had to go really fast. Now we are going to have some really hard stages. So today it was possible that we could make it to the finish. It was worth to give it a try today. But the result was not the result what I wanted. I am a little bit sorry because in the last circuit I had good legs, just when the guys went away I did not have the legs to go across,” said Cesare Benedetti.

 

Jelle Wallays: The stage was harder than I expected

Lotto Soudal rider Jelle Wallays was one of the riders in front and was the person that opened the finale with thirty kilometres to go. He attacked and Gogl accompanied Wallays for several kilometres. With twenty kilometres to go they got reeled in and shortly after Laengen attacked. Only Conti, Wyss, Gogl, Lampaert and Lagutin could follow but on the uphill parts of the finale it was the Italian rider Conti that attacked. Jelle Wallays crossed the finish line as eighth.

 

Wallays said: 

 

“I really wanted to be in the breakaway in this stage, but the stage turned out to be harder than I thought. One of the escapees attacked with thirty kilometres to go. I reacted to that and kept up the pace.  I hoped that the riders in the back would have doubts and let Gogl and me go, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Immediately after we were reeled in there was another attack. I needed time to take a breath and couldn’t join them. After I had taken a moment to recover I could ride at my own pace and in the end I got pretty close to the first chasing group. My plan was to join them in the last downhill kilometres of the stage, but they were racing really hard. If the finish would have been a little bit further maybe I could have joined them.”

 

Teammate Maxime Monfort added:

 

"It was a special stage today. The breakaway quickly formed and the peloton sat up once it was confirmed that no one was dangerous for the GC. So we spent a quiet day but still did 6.30 on the bike. I preserved strength for the queen stage tomorrow.”

 

Gatis Smukulis: It was too difficult with my 83kg

Gatis Smukulis (Astana) was ninth in the stage and the most aggressive rider. He said:

 

“Yesterday I worked hard at the front of the peloton and I was a bit tired this morning. To get into the breakaway I rode full gas for 20 kilometres. Then it was 200 kilometres with a headwind and in the end I suffered with my 83 kilos on these winding roads but I’m happy with my day, I  enjoyed being in the front.”

 

"I knew there was space for escaping because tomorrow there will be a very tough stage and many riders wanted to save energy We left after 20 km in what was the longest stage of this Vuelta. I am glad about my ninth place, but I'll try again soon.”

 

"It was a waiting day before the mountain stages. Scarponi rode in the bunch well protected by his teammates and tomorrow we can do well,” commented sport director Alexandr Shefer.

 

Stephane Rossetto: Conti was not the most generous in terms of work

Stephane Rossetto (Cofidis) was 10th in the stage. He said:

 

“Conti was not the most generous in terms of the amount of work he put in the break but he actually got rewarded for it, congratulations to him. He’s an Italian, he’s smart but to win solo you have to be strong.

 

”On the rest day I was not sure I would continue. I am injured, I’m taking antibiotics, I’m not at 100 per cent. With a better condition, it could have been different. Tomorrow I know this is going to be hard. I will reach the finish with a group and then I will see if I can have other opportunities.”

 

Tom Stamsnijder gets rare chance, sick Zico Waeytens abandons

For Giant-Alpecin Tom Stamsnijder did a great job to be part of the break and took 11th place after a long day in the breakaway.

 

Unfortunately, Team Giant-Alpecin’s Zico Waeytens was forced to abandon the race after succumbing to a gastrointestinal problem that he had before the start of today’s stage.

 

Coach Luke Roberts told us after the stage:

 

“We knew it would be a tough stage today with it being constantly up and down and on small roads. The breakaway was certain to make it to the finish so we had to make sure we were represented. Tom has been feeling quite strong and did a great job making it into the group of 12 who contested the stage victory.

 

“Sadly Zico had to step off the bike today, which is a setback for the team. He has been fighting this discomfort since yesterday. We hoped that it would improve, but his condition deteriorated during today’s difficult stage. We will miss him in La Vuelta as he is an important rider part of our sprint formation.”

 

Team physician, Stephan Jacolino, gave further insight into the issues:

 

“Zico has been suffering from a gastrointestinal discomfort since yesterday. As a result of the high temperatures and the huge effort demanded from this stage, he has been forced to quit prematurely La Vuelta.”

 

On retiring from the race, Waeytens said:

 

“From the beginning of today’s stage I knew I wasn’t feeling good and my muscles lacked energy. Unfortunately today I was simply unable to keep on racing and I am very disappointed to end my Vuelta in this way.”

 

Direct Energie neo-pro in winning break in debut grand tour

Romain Cardis (Direct Energie) finished 12th. He said:

 

“First grand tour, first breakaway. I’ve had a complicated start to the Vuelta and I’ve enjoyed being in the front. The finale was quite tough. I cracked in the last 7-8 kilometres. The legs were stiff but it’s my 13th day of racing and it was a 213-km stage, which is something I’m not much used to in my first year as a pro. Maybe there were not too many candidates for the breakaway today because the upcoming queen stage in the Pyrenees. I grabbed the opportunity, it was a good day after all.”

 

Nairo Quintana: Tomorrow I need to gain time

That calm day the Vuelta a España convoy asked so hard for ended up coming in the longest stage in this year's race. The 213km journey between Bilbao and Urdax were reduced to the fight between the 12 early escapees; Italian Valerio Conti (LAM) took to fruition a move on the rolling final circuit. Behind, the Alejandro Valverde-led bunch came home at a whooping 33 minutes and 54 seconds.

 

All GC gaps remain the same - Nairo Quintana stays in the lead, with Chris Froome (SKY) in second spot at 54” and Valverde in third, at 1'05"- before the Queen stage in this year's Vuelta, with the finish atop Aubisque / Gourette (HC) after 196km including the Cat-1 ascents of Inharpu, Soudet and Marie-Blanque. A day where, as expected by Jonathan Castroviejo, “we'll try to keep Nairo safe and, as with other GTs I've ridden with him, we hope him to show he builds up his form through the race and feels stronger."

 

"It might probably be the most important stage in this Vuelta tomorrow," nodded Nairo in the mixed zone. "Many difficult climbs, a steep finish - let's just hope we can be on par with our rivals and maybe take some more seconds. Let's keep watching how our rivals react to plan on a useful strategy.

 

"It's going to be a very big day. Many teams are going to be challenging, but finally it's those GC riders who will be on the attack who are going to be the most dangerous and the ones I'll have to watch the closest. At the very least, my aim is not to lose time on Froome.

 

"Our strategy was to let a break go with riders who'd lost so much time that we didn't need to work so much, because tomorrow I'll need all the riders I can get to protect me on the Aubisque. Today there were more than 200 kilometres in the stage and more than 3,500 metres of vertical climbing for everybody. It was no walk in the park.

 

“It wasn’t a dangerous stage for us so we tried to take advantage of that. Now come the real mountains, where we will be tested and I hope I will be up to the task. The sensations are good. Lagos was a great test and I hope I will be able to confirm.

 

“It’s one of the days I need to gain time on my rivals – at least I will try not to lose any time. I hope my team will take me safely to the foot of the final climb and then I’ll do my best. I like the Aubisque. It’s in the Pyrenees, which usually suit me.”

 

Alejandro Valverde: There wasn’t any need to fast

“The break wasn’t any dangerous for the GC, and there wasn’t any need to go fast,” explained Valverde after the stage. “However, the day wasn’t easy either: more than six hours on the bike, 3,100m of elevation gain… and that, with a stage like Saturday’s ahead. It will be decisive for the GC result, one to keep full focus for the whole route and a day where we will try to increase our chances to win this.”

 

Calm day for Chris Froome at the Vuelta a Espana

It was a case of the calm before the storm on stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana, with a large breakaway dominating proceedings in Spain.

 

Chris Froome finished safely in the peloton, over 30 minutes after stage winner Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida), who attacked from the break in decisive fashion in the closing stages of a reasonably flat day at the Vuelta.

 

All eyes now turn to stage 14, described by Froome before the start of stage 13 as the 2016 Vuelta's 'queen stage', which finishes with a brutal summit finish atop the fearsome Col d'Aubisque.

 

Orica-BikeExchange: We wanted to save energy for the Pyrenees

Colombian Esteban Chaves and stage six winner Simon Yates crossed the line safely with the rest of the overall favourites on a relatively pedestrian stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana today, with the stage win coming from the breakaway.

 

Even without any climbs above third category stage 13 still managed to cover 3720 altitude metres over picturesque rolling roads.

 

A 12-man move went clear early on and gained over 20minutes on the field before Valerio Conti (Lampre-Merida) took the stage victory from a winning solo attack with 15kilometres to go with the peloton arriving 34minutes later.

 

No change in the top ten of the general classification means Chaves and Yates remain in fourth and seventh place respectively going into tomorrow’s tough stage 14 in the Pyrenees.

 

ORICA-BikeExchange made another post stage trip to the podium to collect the award for the best team on yesterday’s stage 12 after a great win by Jens Keukeliere.

 

Sport director Neil Stephens was happy the team made it through today’s long stage with no issues ahead of two important days in the mountains.

 

“It was an easy day today,” said Stephens. “Not just for us, but for all of the teams. It was an ideal stage for those teams that haven’t got a win to send riders up the road and once the right break formed they accelerated and off they went.

 

“With two very important stages coming up we probably weren’t the only ones thinking about tomorrow and today served as a nice transition stage in preparation for the Pyrenees.”

 

LottoNL-Jumbo aim for success with Gesink and Bennett in Vuelta wueen stage

The 13th stage of the Vuelta was a exhausting ride towards Urdax-Dantxarina for everyone, including Team LottoNL-Jumbo. In a walking-pace, the peloton finished more than half an hour after the winner. 12 riders escaped in the beginning and in the last 20 kilometers, the Italian Valerio Conti (Lampre) raced solo to victory. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) kept the leader's jersey.

 

"In the earlier stages, you saw in the first hours that it was a fight to get into the escape, now it was done after 25 kilometers. After several attempts a group of 12 men drove away. Without one of our riders, it was a missed opportunity," Sports Director Addy Engels said.

 

The 213-kilometre stage from Bilbao to Urdax-Dantxarinea started with several attacks. Also the riders from Team LottoNL-jumbo were involved.

 

"We jumped in with Martijn Keizer, Victor Campenaerts, Jos van Emden and Bram Tankink, but then just missed the escape of the day. There was a moment when the peloton eased up and the breakaway left."

 

The peloton finished at 34 minutes from the winner.

 

”Despite that, it was not going fast, but it was very exhausting for the riders. You notice that fatigue is really there at the end of the second week. Combined with the heat it is such a long day, definitely, it's not great to be on the bike."

 

"Tomorrow, we face the queen stage of the Vuelta," Engels added. "We have George Bennett and Robert Gesink, who kept quiet today, to do something. We need to go for the escape like in the stage where Gesink was second. We cannot wait until de GC-guys attack. You need to ensure that your lead is sufficient at the foot of the final heavy climb."

 

Dimension Data: We thought that Etixx or Trek would help us

The goal for Dimension Data was to ride for Kristian Sbaragli today, as the finish seemed to be a good one for the fast guys. But as ever, so often things do not always work as planned. When a group of 12 riders got a gap the peloton hesitated to react.

 

Sports director Alex Sans Vega said:

 

“Today was the longest stage of the 2016 Vuelta a Espana. It was actually not an easy race course with a lumpy profile and lots of narrow roads. We wanted to ride for Kristian today, but when the break got up the road and managed to build up a solid gap we decided to save the legs for the coming days.

 

”The last stages were all ridden very fast, and we actually thought that teams like Etixx-QuickStep and Trek would have an interest in a sprint finish today. If that would have been the case we would have been joining the chase, but it’s just would not have been possible to chase alone for the majority of the stage. In the end the peloton decided to let the break go. We missed it but will have more chances over the next days.”

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