Chaves fires but drops time on stage 14 of La VueltaSat 2 Sep 2017
Colombian climber Esteban Chaves has fired his first major shot at La Vuelta today, attacking with four kilometers to go on stage 14.
The 27-year-old was briefly joined by Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Mérida) before the pair attacked again.
Race leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) bridged back with a small group and Chaves also regained touch, but the ORICA-SCOTT rider dropped back again in the final kilometer.
Ahead, Rafal Majka (BORA-Hansgrohe) claimed the victory from the breakaway. Chaves now sits fifth overall, 22seconds off the podium and two-minutes 39seconds off the red jersey of Froome.
"I attacked between four kilometers to three (to go) because I watched a video this morning and I knew it's the hardest (part of the) climb," Chaves said. "But after the attack, I paid for that and lost time at the finish line."
"I think the best tactic was by Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team), and also Stevo (sport director Neil Stephens) told me that tactic, but I didn't listen and went on feelings."
"The teams, Bahrain, Trek and also Astana, set a really good rhythm 50km from the finish line. I think there wasn't one guy in the peloton that wasn't suffering."
Tomorrow is set for another epic battle with two big mountains and 3,305m worth of climbing in a short and sharp stage of just 129.4km.
"I think it will be a super super hard stage," Chaves said. "It's a short stage and in the last couple years these have been awesome for the public and everyone will go super deep because the next day is a rest day."
How it happened:
Ten riders formed the breakaway of the day hoping the general classification teams would battle it out behind them.
It almost wasn't to be as Bahrain-Mérida, Astana Pro Team, Trek-Segafredo and Katusha-Alpecin assisted Team Sky at the front and dramatically reduced their advantage from seven minutes to within a couple of minutes at the bottom of the final climb.
But it was enough for Majka who went on to take a solo victory, whilst the general classification competition took further shape behind.
Chaves was the first to attack with just under four kilometers to go. and he was shortly joined by Nibali and Contador who sat on before the duo attacked the Colombian.
Froome bridged across, before Chaves also regained touch and held on until the final kilometer where he dropped off the pace once again.
La Vuelta - Stage 14 Results:
1. Rafal Majka (BORA-Hansgrohe) 4:42:10
2. Miguel Ángel López (Astana Pro Team) +0:27
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Mérida) 0:31
9. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) 0:57
La Vuelta - General Classification after Stage 14:
1. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 58:30:47
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Mérida) +0:55
3. Welco Keldermann (Team Sunweb) +2:17
5. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) +2:39
Photo courtesy of TDWsport.