In His Own Words: Sports Director Neil Stephens on Vuelta a España Stage 15

The break stayed away and the overall contenders traded blows on the stage 15 summit finish of the Vuelta a España. It was a slightly quieter day in the bunch for ORICA-GreenEDGE, and Sports Director Neil Stephens checks in to tell you all about it.

I can understand the surprise not to see one of our riders amongst the names in the break. After all, we’ve been in nearly every break during this race. Originally, the break of ten that opened up the enormous gap included nine more riders.

A group of 19 went up the road, and Daniel Teklehaimanot was in the group. At the bottom of a long descent, the break split into two groups. Ten made the front group and nine were the second group. Daniel missed the split. His group was eventually overtaken by the bunch.

We know many of you saw images of Daniel in a ditch on the side of the road. He crashed on one of the late race descents. He’s pretty sore at the moment, but he was able to get back on his bike and make his way to the finish. As I understand it, he has made the time cut, but I don’t have the official word on this, and we’ll keep you posted as we know more.

I had to take the road diversion, and the second car, with one of our doctors, is with Daniel now. We’ll take him to the hotel first to check him out there. If need be, we’ll take him to the hospital for xrays. We hope that step is unnecessary. Again, as we have definitive information, we’ll share it with you.

Both Allan Davis and Julian Dean reported feeling a bit sick today. They have some sort of gastro thing going on, and we’re hoping we can take care of that when we get back to the hotel as well.

In happier news, Simon Clarke kept the mountains jersey. We’ll have a complicated day tomorrow as we look to maintain it through another stage. The mountains classification will be a battle right to the finish because the overall contenders can start scooping up the real big points.

Overall, a mixed day today. That’s often how it goes with Grand Tours. 

UPDATE:

Daniel made the time cut following his crash. 

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