At last year's Vuelta a España, Warren Barguil (Giant-Shimano) was a revelation winning two stages late in the race. While the 22-year-old hasn't won a stage at this year's race, he is proving himself to be a grand tour winner of the future as he currently lies in tenth place overall, 6:36 minutes down on Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) in his first three-week race as a leader.
On the steep slopes of the HC Lagos de Covadonga climb that comprised the finale of stage 15, from a select GC group, Barguil launched several attacks on the early part of the climb in an attempt to move up the overall standings which he successfully did.
"It's been hard," Barguil said after the stage as he faded due his early efforts to finish in eighth place.
"The guys got me up there in position at the base of the penultimate climb and then on the final ascent I really enjoyed myself attacking because I felt really good," he said of his attacks.
"I've also tried to regain some time to position myself higher on GC [10th now]."
Barguil added that his preference is to ride at his own tempo rather than sitting and waiting for the race to happen.
"It was a hard day today, especially after yesterday ... [but} ... I love racing and I don't like sitting in the wheels and waiting, so today it was good to be able take pleasure from attacking and really giving it a go."
With stage 16 yet again set to shake up the overall standings Barguil is confident of moving further up the standings and isn't fazed by the possibility of wet weather.
"Some riders look really tired and will lose time now," he said. "I hope it'll rain tomorrow."
Having placed John Degenkolb in the breakaway in an attempt to consolidate his hold of the green points jersey, the team's coach Christian Guiberteau said he was pleased by the whole team's efforts and is confident that Barguil still has plenty left to give.
"It was a really good ride from the whole team today, and Warren finished it off with an impressive final ascent," said Guiberteau. "He tried early on the climb to see if they would let him get away and then kept attacking but quite intelligently too, knowing when not to waste energy and following wheels when he could.
"He is getting better and better here and it is a promising place to be ahead of the tough final week. He's proving that he can be present on the climbs when the fights really kick off and at a young age this is very promising for his development."
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.