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Vuelta a Espana 2016: Stage 9

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Back again for some more racing action as stage 9 quickly approaches. Just over 30 minutes until the riders roll out from Cistierna.

 

Yesterday saw a big shake-up of the overall classification with Nairo Quintana stepping into the red jersey. 

 

1 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 29:55:54
2 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:19
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:27
4 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange 0:00:57
5 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky 0:01:16
6 Darwin Atapuma (Col) BMC Racing Team 0:01:36
7 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 0:01:39
8 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:44
9 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:01:46
10 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team

 

Selfie con @joherradalopez del @Movistar_Team en la salida de la etapa de hoy. #LV2016 https://t.co/xTZ9OKO32i

@lavuelta Sun, 28th Aug 2016 10:56:24

Around 20 minutes until roll out and the last few riders are signing on. There's not a cloud in the sky today and the temperature has risen since yesterday. There's very little in the way of wind to cool down the riders. 

 

Alberto Contador has been warming up again outside the team bus today, trying to get his legs ready for the test ahead. Yesterday, his Vuelta hung in the balance following a crash the day before. He looked in trouble on the last climb but bounced back to climb up the overall standings and effectively save his Vuelta a Espana. Yesterday he told the press that he had come close to abandoning ship

 

We'll have at least one non-starter today in Igor Anton. The Spanish rider has been suffering with stomach problems for the past couple of days. 

 

Today's stage gets off to a tricky start as the road goes up almost immediately, which is why Contador and many others are on the rollers this afternoon. 

 

 

Steven Kruijswijk was forced to abandon the Vuelta a Espana earlier in the week after coming to grief with a bollard in the finale of stage 6. The Dutch rider posted this photo of his broken collarbone on twitter just a few moments ago. 

 

Away from the Vuelta for a moment and Bahrain Merida announced another signing for next season. Bardiani's Sonny Colbrelli is the next rider to join their ranks. Read more on this and a few more recent signings here

 

The riders are on their way through the neutral section. It's a short one today at 1.7km so the real racing will be on very soon. 

 

Anton is the only DNS today so we've still got 185 riders in the race. The breakaway has been extremely successful at the Vuelta and we can expect a big battle to get into the move today. 

 

#LV2016 Oviedo local Samuel Sánchez said it's a special day for him to race near his home on stage 9. https://t.co/UA0oBf5hu4

@BMCProTeam Sun, 28th Aug 2016 11:30:27

The neutral section took a little longer than expected due to a few mechanical issues but we're finally off. 

 

Dimension Data a man down but they seem keen today and they've sent a few riders off the front but nothing has stuck just yet. 

 

Movistar is keeping control of things at the moment as more attacks keep coming. 

 

It's now BMC's Dillier who is having a go. Without the red jersey to look after, the team's other riders are free to do their own thing. 

 

The riders a little earlier on as they waited for the start. 

 

 

Dillier's lone attempt was unsuccessful but there's now a group of 12 riders with a small gap on the peloton. 

 

We're only just over 10km into the stage but we've got our first abandon of the day. Enrico Battaglin, who was involved in a crash earlier in the week, has climbed off. He's the second LottoNL-Jumbo rider to quit. 

 

The 12 riders are gaining some ground but the gap is still just 30 seconds. We'll have the names of those out front as soon as we can. 

 

149km remaining from 164km

So here it is, the list of riders out front: Simon Clarke. (Cannondale-Drapac), Dylan Teuns (BMC), Alexandre Geniez (FDJ), Jan Bakelants (AG2R La Mondiale), De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), David de la Cruz (Etixx-QuickStep), Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Drapac), Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling), Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling), Bartosz Huzarski (Bora Argon 18), Pello Bilbao (Caja Rural).

 

That's a very strong move up there and, for now, the peloton is keeping them at close quarters. Just 32 seconds for the 12 escapees. 

 

While teams such as Movistar, Sky and TInkoff seem happy to let this one go, Trek is frustrated with missing the move and the American outfit is chasing at the moment.

 

Dimension Data is also helping Trek with the chase, although the 12 riders in the lead now have an advantage of 46 seconds. 

 

135km remaining from 164km

Despite the efforts of two teams, this breakaway is still nudging out their advantage - albeit slowly. They've got 1:03 on the bunch at the moment. 

 

Trek working on the front earlier on. 

 

 

It appears Trek and Dimension Data have accepted defeat. The gap is going up much quicker now and currently stands at two minutes. 

 

There appears to be a few crossed wires in terms of the make-up of the breakaway. Race radio have put Simon Clarke as being in the break, but the official website has Francois Bidard. Judging by some early race photos, it is Cannondale that has two in the break rather than AG2R La Mondiale.

 

 

124km remaining from 164km

The latest time check has the escapees at 3:14, which makes David de la Cruz the virtual leader. The Etixx rider is just 2:46 down in the overall classification. In normal circumstances that would mean the break was doomed but Movistar seemed pretty eager to get rid of the jersey to avoid spending too much energy. They may try to do the same today. 

 

Samuel Sanchez is the fan favourite today, as stage finishes in his home town of Oviedo on the Alto del Naranco. Sanchez spoke to the media before the start and he said that he expects the break to succeed today. He also told our own Alasdair Fotheringham that there would be some rain today, but we'll wait and see on that one. 

 

"It’s a special place for me, it’s my home. I use it for training a lot. For today, in my opinion, today is for a breakaway. Tomorrow is for the GC. Today, I think that the breakaway will go to the finish and for the GC, there will be a small fight in the final to take a few seconds.

 

"Many years ago, I remember when the Vuelta a Espana arrived with Tony Rominger maybe 20 o 25 years ago. The last part is steep. The last 1.5km is about eight or 10 per cent and the last part is the really steep part where normally the people attack.

 

"In 2014, when I was two years younger, I finished sixth. At the moment, I am in 10th and the Vuelta is long. Tomorrow is stage 10 and then there is the rest day and there are still a lot of complicated stages to come with the time trial and the stage in the Pyrenees so it is complicated. At the moment, I am in the top 10 and that is good."

 

The first climb of the day is the Alto de San Isidro and it seems that the worse conditions predicted by Sanchez are true. It's very cold on the descent of the San Isidro and fog. The visibility isn't too bad, so they should be ok going down it. 

 

As the riders begin the San Isidro we've got news of another abandon. Tony Hurel of Direct Energie has called it a day following a crash on stage 5.

 

Almost five minutes separate the breakaway and the peloton after 50km of racing. 

 

As mentioned earlier, there is some serious firepower in this leading group. Of the 12 at the head of proceedings, Alexandre Geniez is the only one to have taken a stage win already. The Frenchman mastered the Mirador de Ézaro on stage 3 to take his second career win at the Vuelta a Espana. Can he do it again today? His stage win will certainly make him a watched man. 

 

News in from the finish line and it is much cooler down in Oviedo as the race heads towards the sea. There's some fog about too and a little bit of drizzle, but not too much. 

 

Movistar is very much in control today and they've brought the gap back to 4:36. Perhaps they want to keep this red jersey today, unlike earlier in the week. 

 

While it's only Geniez that has won a stage at this year's Vuelta, there are a few that have won here or at other Grand Tours in the past. Thomas de Gendt added a Tour de France stage win to his palmares last month. He's already won a stage of the Giro, when he claimed victory from a breakaway on the Stelvio. The result was enough to give him third overall at the 2012 Giro. It's only the Vuelta that is missing from his list of wins. He was out in the break a few days ago but missed the win. 

 

100km remaining from 164km

The leaders are over the top of the first climb and we await confirmation of who claimed the points at the top. Sergey Lagutin is the current leader but he is equal on points with Geniez at the moment. De Gendt is just two points behind so there should be an interesting fight between the pair. This is how the mountains classification at the moment. 

 

1 Sergey Lagutin (Rus) Team Katusha 10 pts
2 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ 10
3 Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 9
4 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 8
5 Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 8
6 Omar Fraile (Spa) Dimension Data 6
7 Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie 5
8 Pieter Serry (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step 5
9 Simon Pellaud (Swi) IAM Cycling 4
10 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct Energie 4

 

And here we have it, De Gendt takes the full five points at the top with Geniez taking three. That means they are equal on points with 13 each. 

 

With the fog and drops of rain, the leaders are picking their way down this descent. It's a long one and the riders are not taking any risks. 

 

Movistar is leading the bunch down this descent and are keeping it safe too. This slower pace out front though means that the gap between the two groups has come down a little bit to 4:19.

 

Third rider of the day to climb off and finish their Vuelta early is Yoann Bagot of Cofidis. There are a lot of riders suffering out there with a very tough opening week behind them. 

 

Simon Clarke is another member of the breakaway with a Grand Tour stage win on his palmares. Clarke won the mountains classification and beat Tony Martin to a stage win at the 2012 Vuelta a Espana and he'll be a solid bet for today. Clarke has already been pretty active this week, going off the front on stage 5 with Philippe Gilbert. As well as his 2012 stage win, Clarke was also part of the Orica-GreenEdge team that took the team time trial victories at the 2013 Giro and the 2015 Tour. 

 

Clarke's teammate Moreno Moser is yet to add a Grand Tour win to his palmares just yet. He came very close at the Giro d'Italia earlier this year, finishing third on stage 8 to Arezzo and second on stage 18 to Pinerolo. His presence gives Cannondale some options today. If they follow Katusha's lead from yesterday's stage then they are certainly in with a shout.

 

Alberto Contador surprised many people, including himself, with his comeback yesterday. His personal press officer Jacinto Vidarte told the Vuelta's website that they are much more confident about Contador's prospects. ""Alberto is much better today than he was yesterday. It still hurts of course but nothing compared to yesterday. You never know with a crash but after what he showed yesterday, we have great hopes."

 

The fog has cleared further down the climb and the rain has stopped, which means nice dry roads for the riders. It's still pretty cold in comparison to much of the opening week. 

 

The gap has stabalised around 4:10. Movistar won't be happy to give this move too much space with de la Cruz up the road. 

 

For @zdenekstybar La Camperona was not steep enough yet. #LV2016 (photo @BrakeThrough) https://t.co/8JaDYOPshI

@philmaertens Sun, 28th Aug 2016 13:25:30

Rory Sutherland is the one on the front for Movistar at the moment. The 35-year-old Australian has been with Movistar since last year and has proved himself as a strong workhorse for the team. This is his second Grand Tour this year after riding for the Giro d'Italia. 

 

71km remaining from 164km

This is a very long descent off the San Isidiro. It's effectively a 70km descent from the top. They are past the steepest section though as the road is fairly flat in comparison. 

 

Despite a climb and a slight delay in the neutral zone, it has been a quick start to the day. As they hit the feed zone, the average speed has been 45.7kph, which is much the same as it was yesterday. 

 

Back to the riders in the breakaway and next we take a look at Jan Bakelants. The Belgian is in his second season with AG2R La Mondiale after riding for Trek and Omega Pharma QuickStep in the past. In 2013, he won a stage of the Tour de France and spent a day in the yellow jersey. He's got wins in the Giro dell'Emelia, Gran Piemonte and GP Wallonie. This season, he took a stage of La Med and finished third overall. He also became a dad.

 

Luis Leon Sanchez is probably the most successful member of this breakaway. The Astana rider has won four individual stages of the Tour de France and claimed the mountains classification at the 2014 Vuelta a Espana. Sanchez also has GC wins at Paris-Nice and the Tour Down Under and two wins at the Clasica San Sebastian. He's spent his recent years playing the team role but, with no leader at the Vuelta after Lopez's abandon, he is a free agent. Sanchez does have a few blots on his copy book and he was dropped from Belkin during the 2013 season for his links with Operacion Puerto. 

 

58km remaining from 164km

The gap is nudging back out again ever so slightly. The leaders have an advantage of 4:33.

 

Ganiez looks like he's either feeling the change in temperature or that tough first week - or perhaps both - as he stretches out his legs a bit at the back of the break. 

 

David de la Cruz remains the leader on the road. If the stage was to end with the gaps as they are, he would have a 1:49 lead over Quintana in the GC. There's still a long way to go though. David de la Cruz has not had the best time of it when it comes to Grand Tours. He's not finished one in four attempts so far, due to illness and injury. He has a chance at a win today, although that will be up to how Movistar play this. He could also play a role for Etixx GC leader Brambilla, if it all comes back together. 

 

Like Cannondale, IAM Cycling has numbers in the break with Mathias Frank and Dries Devenyns. IAM Cycling is due to close shop at the end of this season but both Frank and Devenyns have teams, with the former going to AG2R and the latter to Etixx-QuickStep. Frank is certainly the better of the two climbers and he finished eighth overall at last year's Tour de France. Devenyns is more of a classics rider, which is why he'll be a vital rider for Etixx next season. He could prove a good foil for Frank today. 

 

The first climb seems like a very long time ago but finally the leaders are on climb number 2 the Alto de Sto. Emiliano. Five points available at the top here so expect a few fireworks from the break. 

 

The first climb seems like a very long time ago but finally the leaders are on climb number 2 the Alto de Sto. Emiliano. Three points available at the top here so expect a few fireworks from the break.

We're almost through the riders in the breakaway today. Next we have Pello Bilbao, who rides for Caja Rural. The 26-year-old has a punchy kick to him although he might struggle against some of the better climbers in this group. He's twice won stages of the Tour of Turkey and also claimed victory at the 2013 Klasika Primavera.

 

De Gendt jumps out front to take the three points at the top of the climb. Geniez doesn't follow him and perhaps the Frenchman is thinking about the long game and a potential second stage win. Anyway, De Gendt now has the mountains classification outright. Still three more climbs to come, including the final Alto del Naranco. 

 

De Gendt has decided to carry on alone. Is this a serious long-range attack or is he thinking more about the mountains points? We'll have to wait and see. 

 

game on! De Gendt goes for it. someone will try to bridge on the next climb for sure. #LV2016 #VamosHuzar #BoraArgon18

@BoraArgon18 Sun, 28th Aug 2016 14:11:35

That brings us nicely onto Bartoz Huzarski, the penultimate rider in this break. Huzarski has been with Bora-Agron 18/NetApp since the 2011 season. The 35-year-old rode the Tour de France earlier this season. He was awarded the combativity prize on stage 8 of the 2015 race. The biggest win of his career so far is a stage of the Settimana Ciclistica Lombarda in 2015. 

 

38km remaining from 164km

De Gendt has 30 seconds on his fellow escapees and 5:11 on the peloton. He's through the intermediate sprint and on his way to the next climb of the day. 

 

Last but not least in the breakaway is BMC's Dylan Teuns. He's a former stage winner at the Tour de l'Avenir and, at 24, this is his first time at a Grand Tour. He's a decent climber and could be an outside bet for today.

 

De Gendt looks to be fading and the other escapees have him in their sights, just a handful of seconds between them. 

 

Bouhanni: I'm not trying to be a 'bad boy' https://t.co/uDpGXyXTRl https://t.co/oZBQsTm5Ig

@Cyclingnewsfeed Sun, 28th Aug 2016 14:18:12

33km remaining from 164km

It is all back together at the front as Movistar continue to manage things behind. His little dig has pushed out the gap to 5:04. 

 

Now that De Gendt is back, the breakaway is working together very well. They still have a chance at making it to the line, but it's going to be a close call. 

 

If the winner is to come from this breakaway, picking the first man to cross the line is a tough call. De Gendt, Clarke and Sanchez are probably the strongest men in the group but Frank and de la Cruz are also contenders. 

 

Meanwhile world cyclo-cross champion Wout Van Aert has taken another victory on the road at the Schaal Sels - Merksem.

 

De Gendt is stringing the breakaway out and he digs off the front to take the points again at the next KOM. That's three more for his account. Clarke and Geniez follow him and they're now on their own little move. I missed Geniez among my list of contenders. After his first week, you certainly can't count him out. 

 

Thankfully it is dry on this descent, unlike earlier in the day, and the three attackers are pushing on. The pace of the chase behind is forcing splits in the group. 

 

It is Luis Leon Sanchez that is driving the chase in the breakaway. He will be very frustrated to have missed out on this move. 

 

Two more climbs lie ahead, including the summit finish on the Alto del Naranco. This is the 14th time that the Asturian climb features in the Vuelta a Espana. Former winners on the climb include Joaquim Rodriguez (2013), Laurent Jalabert (1995), Tony Rominger (1993) and Marino Lejarreta (1986). It was José Manuel Fuente that won when the race first visited in 1974,

 

25km remaining from 164km

It's all back together in the breakaway and De Gendt is forcing things again as they start to ascent an uncategorised climb. Bakelants is in his wheel.

 

Simon Clarke doesn't like the pace and he's having to fight to keep hold of the back of this bunch. Bilbao and Geniez are also struggling. 

 

Geniez and Bilbao make it back but are immediately under threat again as Sanchez attacks. He is brought back and Devenyns moves to the front of the group to try and calm things down. 

 

De La Cruz hits the front, he's got his thoughts on the red jersey, but he's quickly overtaken by Devenyns. 

 

Bakelants is trying to follow Devenyns now as is De la Cruz. This group is fracturing. 

 

Devenyns has 11 seconds on the chasers. He's looking over his shoulder and he can see Bakelants behind him. 

 

Movistar aren't panicking right now in the peloton. It looks like they're happy to let this break fight it out for now. Whether or not they'll try to shut down De la Cruz later remains to be seen. 

 

20km remaining from 164km

Bakelants joins up with Devenyns as De Gendt is distanced on this little descent. Perhaps paying for his earlier efforts. 

 

Gesink is having a quiet Vuelta a Espana at the moment but the LottoNL-Jumbo rider told Cyclingnews that he's just happy to be racing in Spain after suffering a horrible accident earlier in the season. Read his thoughts here

 

17km remaining from 164km

Devenyns and Bakelants have 32 seconds on the chasers as the gap to the peloton begins to fall too. It's 4:38 at the moment.

 

The chasers can still see the two leaders up the road. There's no cause for panic right now but they don't want to let them have too much rope. 

 

The leaders are on the Alto de la Manzaneda, a short 3.6km climb that averages 6.9%.

 

16km remaining from 164km

Teuns attacks on the lower slopes of the climb and de la Cruz is trying to follwo. The BMC rider has bridged the gap with relative ease. 

 

Bakelants and Devenyns won't be too happy with Teuns making it over. He's probably the strongest climb of the three out front. 

 

Clarke had made it back into the group but he's off the back again. Bilbao is struggling, as is De Gendt. 

 

Sanchez doing some good work on the front of the chasing group and he's almost dragged them up to the three leaders. 

 

The juncture has been made and it's pretty much back together, save for those that have been dropped. 

 

14km remaining from 164km

Ganiez and Frank taking turns to turn up the wick in te break. They're still holding the gap to the peloton at the moment. 

 

One of the Katusha riders has decided that enough is enough and he's jumped out of the peloton. It's a big gap of 4:30 to bridge in just 14km but more power to him. 

 

Mamykin is the Katusha rider that is making this seemingly foolish move. 

 

11km remaining from 164km

The leaders have dispatched with the penultimate climb of the day and Huzarski is now pushing things on. Bakelants is forced to chase down after getting briefly dropped. 

 

12km remaining from 164km

No sooner is Bakelants back than de la Cruz and Devenyns have attacked. 

 

De la Crus really wants this red jersey, it would be the biggest moment of his career. He's 2:46 behind Quintana in the GC so he needs to hold that advantage if he wants to step up. The pair's lead over the peloton is currently 4:24.

 

8km remaining from 164km

It's a small gap for the two leaders at just 18 seconds. Incidentally, this means that Frank is able to sit on the back of the break and just sit in for now. 

 

RT @VeloViewer: 5km long summit finish climb at #LV2016 thankfully much more mellow than yesterday! Max 11%. https://t.co/cHdSPZIy0Z https:…

@IAM_Cycling Sun, 28th Aug 2016 15:00:53

Confirmation of the results at the last KOM and Geniez took the full complement. He could still nick the jersey from de Gendt if he can finish strongly. 

 

6km remaining from 164km

As I write that. de Gendt has caught the first group of chasers and attacked them. He's got a 26-second gap to get across.

 

The two leaders are very close to that final climb. De la Cruz would certainly fancy his chances over Devenyns but you never know. 

 

5km remaining from 164km

The climb begins and the duo up front have 32 seconds on the chase. 

 

De Gendt still dangling in no man's land but he's not making any more of a gap. 

 

Movistar now really turn up the speed and the peloton is in one long line. The GC battle is about to begin. 

 

4km remaining from 164km

In the break, riders are all over the road as they try to bring back the two leaders. 35 seconds is the gap. 

 

Bilbao now makes an attack. De Gendt is still up the road. 

 

3km remaining from 164km

It looks like De Gendt is making some ground on the two leaders. He's just 19 seconds back. The third group is now some 58 seconds back with not a lot of road left. 

 

Moser has a dig from that main break group but he doesn't get too far. His pace means that the gap goes down briefly and Sanchez tries his hand. 

 

We've got no visual on De Gendt but as the road really kicks up it seems like he's struggling. He's now around 30 seconds back on the two leaders and about to be caught by group three. 

 

2km remaining from 164km

Sanchez is doing the lion's share in the third group and he is dragging back Bilbao and De Gendt. 

 

1km remaining from 164km

Bilbao is in that big chaser group now, next up is De Gendt. The two leaders have 47 seconds on the main chasing group and 3:34 on the peloton. 

 

It's going to be touch and go for de la Cruz and the red jersey. 

 

It's all calm in the peloton for now. Samuel Sanchez believes that it will only by the final 2km where it really kicks off. 

 

Meanwhile, up front de la Cruz is really trying to push things on as the leaders approach the flamme rouge. 

 

Kennaugh attacks from the peloton and is followed by Fraile. Kennaugh is not too far down the GC. 

 

With 700m to go, it looks pretty assured that de la Cruz or Devenyns will win. 

 

De la Cruz attacks and Devenyns can't respond. 

 

De la Cruz is digging deep. He's got 300m.

 

De la Cruz in the home stretch and he's got this win 

 

David de la Cruz wins stage 9. 

 

Devenyns comes over the line for seconds place. It appears he had a mechanical issue when de la Cruz attacked. 

 

Moser takes third. Another nearly but not quite for the Italian as Sanchez takes fourth, followed by Frank. 

 

Behind the break, it's not clear is Kennaugh and Fraile have been brought back. Movistar driving things on. 

 

It appears they were further behind. Samuel Sanchez attacks in the final km and passes a flagging Fraile. 

 

Brambilla catches and passes Sanchez, who crosses the line with Valverde. A few gaps between the GC riders but we had no clock so no proper time check. 

 

We wait for confirmation of that time check, but it looks like de la Cruz could well be in red as well as taking the stage win. 

 

The organisers confirm that David de la Cruz will be in red tomorrow. 

 

This is how the stage top 10 looked today. 

 

1 David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step 3:47:56
2 Dries Devenyns (Bel) IAM Cycling 0:00:27
3 Moreno Moser (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac 0:00:33
4 Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:51
5 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:00:51
6 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ 0:00:53
7 Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Bora-Argon 18 0:00:58
8 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:04
9 Pello Bilbao (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:01:04
10 Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:01:10

 

In the GC, de la Cruz holds a 22-second lead over Quintana. I think that both teams will be happy with that. De la Cruz won't be considered a threat by Movistar, who will be happy to hand the efforts of controlling things to Etixx-QuickStep. 

 

That's 8 Grand Tour wins for Etixx - Quick-Step this season! 4 in #Giro 1 in #TDF 3 in #LV2016 #WayToRide

@Etixx_QuickStep Sun, 28th Aug 2016 15:25:39

IAM Cycling played it tactically very well today, using a similar approach to Katusha yesterday, but de la Cruz was just too strong. That is most certainly the biggest day of the Spaniard's career. 

 

We see a replay of de la Cruz's attack and it looks like Devenyns had an issue with changing gears. That will be a tough moment for the Belgian but beating de la Cruz would have been a tough ask. 

 

The new general classification after that stage.

 

1 David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step 33:46:24
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:22
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:41
4 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:49
5 Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-BikeExchange 0:01:19
6 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky 0:01:38
7 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 0:02:01
8 Darwin Atapuma (Col) BMC Racing Team 0:02:06
9 Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:02:07
10 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:02:08

 

During his post-stage interview, David de la Cruz is given a huge hug by his teammates Zdenek Stybar and Niki Terpstra. De la Cruz is a friendly and popular rider and it shows. This is what he had to say of his victory. 

 

"It way my objective today but to be honest, I wasn’t thinking about the race leadership towards the end. I was just thinking about winning the stage. It was very hard to ride with Devenyns because he was very hard to beat. I can’t believe that I won.

 


"I felt good sometimes, other times I didn’t feel so good and I didn’t think that I would have enough to finish it off, with so many good riders in the break. I thought to myself, ‘let’s try and go to the end’ and I won. I’ve been close a few times and I’ve not won but today I got the stage and the race lead, so let’s see how long we can keep it."

 

The Etixx-QuickStep riders wait to watch De la Cruz take to the podium. 

 

 

Ruben Fernandez told Eurosport television that Movistar didn't begin the day intending on losing the leader's jersey. Still, they're not too displeased with the outcome today. 

 

"We know that we’ve got many days remaining, we knew it would be complicated. Today the breakaway went in the end, they were very strong and they were quick but tomorrow will be very hard and very different. So let’s see what happens.

 


"It’s not so bad for us, of course we would have liked to keep the leader’s jersey but the race is still long. Hopefully we’ll take it back. At the end, we had to ride pretty hard but then we rode pretty hard throughout the whole stage and they were just really strong."

 

An emotional de la Cruz gives his red jersey a few kisses. This is a special moment for him. 

 

Etixx QuickStep now has two jerseys with Gianni Meersman still in green. 

 

 

Podium #TeamKATUSHA in #LV2016 as best team. Stage win for David De La Cruz. https://t.co/hJAqA4KIQY

@katushacycling Sun, 28th Aug 2016 15:55:54

Check out our full report of today's action, gallery and results right here. 

 

That is it from our live coverage today. Keep tuned for the reaction from today's stage and we'll have live coverage of stage 10 tomorrow. 

 

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