Vuelta a Espana: Dennis wins stage 16 time trial in Torrelavega

As widely expected, Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) dominated the time trial stage at the Vuelta a Espana, as the rolling 32km from Santillana del Mar to Torrelavega shook up the overall classification but left the battle for the maillot rojo finely balanced.

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) managed to gain seven seconds on Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) to extend his overall lead to 33 seconds, but the ride of the day came from Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo), who finished third, only 51 seconds slower than Dennis, moving the Dutchman up to third overall at 52 seconds.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was slightly off the pace of the GC contenders, losing 1:19 to Kruijswijk and 42 seconds to Yates, and so slipped to fourth overall at 1:15. Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) also impressed, finishing sixth on the stage and moving up to fifth overall, now 1:30 down on Yates.

The final week of the Vuelta a Espana now heads east via the Basque Country towards the Pyrenees for the decisive mountain stages around Andorra.

Dennis started his ride early and so spent several hours in the hot seat reserved for the fastest rider after stopping the clock in a time of 37:57.

He watched with a mix of nerves and excitement as his time-trial-specialist rivals tried and failed to come close to his time. They lacked the Australian’s power and poise on the rolling roads and the final loop around the sports track named after three-time world champion and local hero Oscar Freire.

BMC Racing teammate Joey Rosskopf finished 50 seconds slower in second place, as did Spanish national time trial Jonathan Castroviejo (Tram Sky), who was third. Kruijswijk and Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) were the only other riders to finish within a minute of Dennis, both stopping the clock in a time of 38:48.

“I knew I was on a good one, just looking at my power on the Garmin,” Dennis said. “I tried to control it at the start and finish and make my move in the middle section and it worked out perfectly.

“I didn’t know what Kwiatkowski and a couple of the later guys could do. All I knew was what Castroviejo was doing at that time, and he’s a pretty good indicator of if you’re doing good or not. To be honest, the big performance of the day, I’d have to give to Joey Rosskopf. He’s the best teammate, he’s the easiest guy to be in the back of the bus with, and I’m really happy for him.”

It was Dennis’ 25th career victory, his 15th time trial victory of his career and the sixth victory of the 2018 season – all have been in time trials. He also won the opening Vuelta time trial in Malaga. However, the Australian national champion confirmed it would be his last stage of this year’s Vuelta a Espana so he can rest up and prepare for the team time trial and individual time trial at the world championships in Innsbruck.

“Everything is looking good for Worlds. I don’t know if it’s good or bad for the team, but I’m heading home now and specifically preparing for the TT and the TTT. Hopefully I’ll have a couple more boxes ticked by the end of the season,” Dennis said.

The battle for the maillot rojo

With the overall contenders so equally matched in the mountains, the 32km time trial was considered vital in the battle for the race leader’s maillot rojo and final victory in Madrid next Sunday. However, only Kruijswijk and Mas gained any significant chunks of time as Yates, Valverde, Quintana, Lopez and even Pinot finished within a minute of each other. This Vuelta a Espana will be a battle right to the end.

Yates had admitted that an over enthusiastic time trial in the Giro d’Italia sparked his eventual demise in the final mountain stages. He seemed more composed and stronger at the Vuelta, setting a time of 39:25. He was 37 seconds slower than Kruijswijk and lost 25 seconds to Mas but gained time on everyone else.

Yates fought hard to stay in an aerodynamic position during his effort, dipping his head low over his handlebars whenever possible to save a few extra watts and then powering on the pedals out of the saddle on the gradual climbs. He was 20 seconds down on Dennis after 10km, 48 seconds down after 21km and only faded in the final kilometres to finish at 1:28 as he avoided taking any risks in the corners.

Valverde was closest to Yates, losing seven seconds, after seemingly finding a boost of form during the rest day. Quintana dropped 42 seconds, while Pinot lost 43 seconds. All three were happy with their performances, perhaps fearing bigger losses. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) perhaps under performed the most, losing 51 seconds to Yates, while Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First-Drapac) lost 48 seconds and slipped to ninth overall at 3:15.

Mas was the GC surprise of the day and could go on to be the revelation of the race.

The 23 year-old Spaniard is riding just his second Grand Tour but has moved up from 11th to eighth and then sixth in the recent mountain stages. He backed up those performances with sixth place in the time trial, finishing 25 seconds faster than Simon Yates. He is now up to fifth overall, 1:30 down on Yates and only 38 seconds from a podium place.

Quintana, Valverde and Kruijswijk will have to watch their backs and the young Quick-Step Floors rider as they also try to topple Yates in the final mountain stages.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:37:57
2Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:50
3Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team SkyRow 2 - Cell 2
4Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:00:51
5Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team SkyRow 4 - Cell 2
6Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors0:01:03
7Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team0:01:05
8Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:01:07
9Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb0:01:10
10Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step FloorsRow 9 - Cell 2
11Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:01:17
12Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 11 - Cell 2
13Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:01:28
14Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:01:29
15Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:35
16David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky0:01:39
17Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb0:01:40
18Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data0:01:49
19Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:50
20Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:01:51
21Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:52
22Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:01:53
23Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 22 - Cell 2
24Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team Sunweb0:01:59
25Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:02:09
26Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team0:02:10
27Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:02:11
28Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:02:16
29Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 28 - Cell 2
30Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 29 - Cell 2
31Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:02:19
32Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-SegafredoRow 31 - Cell 2
33Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 32 - Cell 2
34Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 33 - Cell 2
35Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:02:29
36Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin0:02:35
37Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team0:02:40
38Ryan Gibbons (RSA) Dimension DataRow 37 - Cell 2
39Luis Guillermo Mas Bonet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:02:45
40Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:02:46
41Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:03:00
42Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:03:01
43Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:02
44Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team0:03:04
46Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:03:05
47Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:03:09
48Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-Alpecin0:03:14
49Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:03:16
50Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida0:03:19
51Matteo Trentin (Ita) Mitchelton-Scott0:03:22
52Mitchell Docker (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:03:25
53Stephane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 52 - Cell 2
54Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe0:03:35
55Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:03:38
56Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:03:40
57Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:03:43
58Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:03:49
59Hector Saez Benito (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:03:51
60Francisco Ventoso (Spa) BMC Racing Team0:03:52
61Michael Mørkøv (Den) Quick-Step Floors0:03:57
62Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott0:04:01
63Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:04:02
64Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-HansgroheRow 63 - Cell 2
65Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:04:07
66Alexandre Geniez (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:10
67Benjamin King (USA) Dimension Data0:04:11
68Igor Anton (Spa) Dimension Data0:04:13
69Sergio Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 68 - Cell 2
70Elia Viviani (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:04:14
71Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
72Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:17
73Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:04:19
74Aritz Bagues Kalparsoro (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:04:22
75Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:04:23
76Jai Hindley (Aus) Team Sunweb0:04:29
77Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:04:30
78Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 77 - Cell 2
79Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:38
80Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:39
81Max Walscheid (Ger) Team Sunweb0:04:41
82Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 81 - Cell 2
83Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 82 - Cell 2
84Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 83 - Cell 2
85Léo Vincent (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:04:42
86Davide Villella (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:04:43
87Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky0:04:46
88Michael Woods (Can) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:04:47
89Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe0:04:49
90Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 89 - Cell 2
91Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 90 - Cell 2
92Jesus Ezquerra Muela (Spa) Burgos BHRow 91 - Cell 2
93José Mendes (Por) Burgos BH0:04:51
94Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:04:52
95Mathias Le Turnier (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 94 - Cell 2
96Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension Data0:04:53
97Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates0:04:56
98Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:04:57
99Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 98 - Cell 2
100Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data0:05:00
101Marc Sarreau (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 100 - Cell 2
102Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:05:01
103Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:05:03
104Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:05:04
105Omar Fraile (Spa) Astana Pro Team0:05:06
106Daniel Moreno (Spa) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:05:15
107Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe0:05:16
108Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:05:17
109Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb0:05:19
110Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-MuriasRow 109 - Cell 2
111Jorge Cubero Galvez (Spa) Burgos BH0:05:23
112Nelson Andres Soto Martinez (Col) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:24
113Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team0:05:25
114Diego Rubio Hernandez (Spa) Burgos BH0:05:30
115Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:05:32
116Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJRow 115 - Cell 2
117Ian Boswell (USA) Katusha-Alpecin0:05:33
118Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 117 - Cell 2
119Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:05:36
120Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:05:39
121Mickael Delage (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 120 - Cell 2
122Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:05:41
123Floris De Tier (Bel) LottoNL-Jumbo0:05:44
124Michael Albasini (Swi) Mitchelton-Scott0:05:45
125Jordi Simon Casulleras (Spa) Burgos BH0:05:46
126Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:05:47
127Antonio Molina Canet (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:48
128Eduard Prades Reverter (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:05:49
129Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 128 - Cell 2
130Tosh Van Der Sande (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 129 - Cell 2
131Sergio Pardilla Bellon (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:05:52
132Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:05:54
133Garikoitz Bravo Oiarbide (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:06:00
134Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:06:04
135Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension DataRow 134 - Cell 2
136Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data0:06:08
137Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:06:09
138Oscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos BH0:06:16
139Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:06:17
140Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:06:19
141Luka Mezgec (Slo) Mitchelton-ScottRow 140 - Cell 2
142Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team0:06:29
143Loic Chetout (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:06:30
144Alex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:06:31
145Jan Hirt (Cze) Astana Pro TeamRow 144 - Cell 2
146Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:06:32
147Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos BH0:06:34
148Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:06:38
149Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:06:41
150Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:06:42
151Danny van Poppel (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:06:47
152Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team0:06:53
153Sepp Kuss (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo0:06:55
154Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:06:58
155Pablo Torres Muiño (Spa) Burgos BH0:06:59
156Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb0:07:01
157Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-MeridaRow 156 - Cell 2
158Jonathan Lastra Martinez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGARow 157 - Cell 2
159Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:07:02
160Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-AlpecinRow 159 - Cell 2
161Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 160 - Cell 2
162Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:07:30
163Thomas Leezer (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:08:00
164George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo0:08:10
165Michael Storer (Aus) Team Sunweb0:09:04
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team25pts
2Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing Team20Row 1 - Cell 3
3Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Sky16Row 2 - Cell 3
4Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo14Row 3 - Cell 3
5Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky12Row 4 - Cell 3
6Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors8Row 7 - Cell 3
9Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Kasper Asgreen (Den) Quick-Step Floors6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing Team5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team1Row 14 - Cell 3
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Teams
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1BMC Racing Team1:55:58
2Team Sky0:01:13
3Quick-Step FloorsRow 2 - Cell 2
4Team Sunweb0:02:42
5Movistar Team0:02:43
6Lotto Soudal0:04:02
7Trek-Segafredo0:04:24
8Groupama-FDJ0:04:29
9Mitchelton-Scott0:04:59
10EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:05:55
11Katusha-Alpecin0:06:01
12Dimension Data0:06:33
13Bahrain-Merida0:06:43
14Astana Pro Team0:07:11
15Bora-Hansgrohe0:07:38
16Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:08:03
17AG2R La Mondiale0:08:12
18UAE Team Emirates0:09:11
19Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:10:54
20Euskadi Basque Country0:10:55
21LottoNl-Jumbo0:11:15
22Burgos-BH0:12:56
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General classification after stage 16
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Simon Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott64:52:58
2Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:33
3Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:00:52
4Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team0:01:15
5Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors0:01:30
6Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:01:34
7Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:02:53
8Ion Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:03:04
9Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:03:15
10Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:04:43
11Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:04:48
12Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb0:07:08
13Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:08:35
14Fabio Aru (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:10:34
15Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:10:58
16David De La Cruz (Spa) Team Sky0:12:01
17Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe0:13:02
18Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:14:53
19Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida0:16:38
20Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias0:22:36
21Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team0:24:02
22Davide Formolo (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe0:28:11
23George Bennett (NZl) LottoNL-Jumbo0:28:46
24Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky0:29:08
25Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky0:31:35
26Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:33:31
27Benjamin King (USA) Dimension Data0:34:24
28Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:38:57
29Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:39:03
30Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin0:39:47
31Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:44:03
32Cristian Rodriguez Martin (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA0:45:11
33Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale0:48:48