Vuelta a Espana: Orica-Scott pass stage 6 challenge

Triple GC challenge remains intact with Chaves into second overall

Stage 6 of the Vuelta a Espana didn't feature the summit finish of the day prior or feature a late climb like stage 3 but was "probably the hardest day of the race so far" as Adam Yates explained.

A potential banana skin in the battle for the overall, Orica-Scott ended the day in a better position than it started with Esteban Chaves up to second overall. Last year's third place finisher benefited from the misfortune of Tejay van Garderen as the American crashed twice and dropped to fourth.

While Chaves moved up the general classification, Adam Yates remained in eighth and leader of the young rider classification while brother Simon sits tenth.

Sports director Neil Stephens explained that Alberto Contador's (Trek-Segafredo) move on the Puerto del Garbí was initially a minor cause for concern but through the work of Jack Haig the threat was short lived.

"There was a little bit of a concern when the road got narrow, there was a little crash on the climb and Esteban got caught up and actually had to put a foot on the ground," Stephens said. "When we got to the top of the climb we had all three GC guys, plus Jack Haig together. I said to the three GC guys to take it easy, don't panic, Jack was doing a fantastic job and it was back together again.

"There was a small split again after that, Simon Yates once again got caught up in it but he instructed the team, and Haig to continue with the other two."

Just one second off Fabio Aru's seventh place, Adam Yates explained it was the toughest day of the Vuelta so far and was thankful to have made it through unscathed.

"It was a tough day out there. I reckon for a lot of the guys, including me, it was probably the hardest day of the race so far," said Adam Yates. "Every kilometre was full gas pressing the pedals, twisty roads and nowhere to really take a break. Especially with all of the heat, it's forecast for 32degrees but when you're in the peloton there's no wind and you are sitting there sweating buckets and buckets. All in all it was a tough day, but we got through pretty well."

With it three leaders all sitting top-ten as the race reaches the first week, Stephens and co will be hoping to manoeuvre the numerous challenging stages to come in a similar style.

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