Chaves second, by less than a second, after stage 10 of La Vuelta

Tue 29 Aug 2017

Colombian climber Esteban Chaves remains second overall at La Vuelta, despite the escape of third placed Nicholas Roche (BMC Racing Team) in the latter stages on day 10.

As 2018 ORICA-SCOTT rider Matteo Trentin (Quickstep Floors) won the stage from the breakaway, Chaves and Adam Yates successfully manoeuvred two late climbs to finish in the general classification favourites group.

Just ahead, Roche slipped off the front before Jack Haig could re-join the favourites group and contribute to minimising the damage. Over the line, Roche gained 29seconds to stay third overall but on equal time with Chaves. 

“The boys did a great job again,” sport director Neil Stephens said. “They were placed really well down the descent.” 

“In the final there, Nicholas Roche was able to get a bit of a gap and it grew out before Jack was able to get back and help to limit the losses a little bit. 

“It’s unfortunate we lost that little bit of time, but we think our general classification ambitions are still in order and going really well.”

Earlier in the day it took over half of the day’s parcours before the breakaway escaped. Despite hoping to be amongst the action today, Stephens said the team refocused on their overall objective and will fight another day. 

“The break took a really long time to get away,” Stephens explained. “It’s unfortunate, we tried really hard to be there today and finally when the break did get away, it was the one we weren’t in.”

“It wasn’t the end of the world, rather we just had to reset, and go back into thinking about the stage and how we maintain our general classification position.”

How it happened:

Fresh off the first rest day, the peloton seemed re-energised as they neutralised every breakaway attempt in the first half of stage 10.

Short after we entered the back end of racing, a breakaway of 18 finally broke the elastic and the peloton’s intensity retreated as they quickly extended to a five-minutes advantage with 55km to go.

As they hit the bottom of the ‘double climb’ – two climbs in succession without a descent – the advantage remained steady, but the GC riders had moved to the front.

Jacques Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data) went alone from the breakaway early on the climb and he gained a 30second advantage ahead of the second and longer ascent. On the second climb he was joined by three others, including eventual winner Trentin, to make four leaders with a slightly increased advantage of five-minutes 30seconds.

Behind Bahrain-Merida bossed the front of the peloton but maintained a steady pace rather than reducing the gap to the breakaway. 

The favourites group started to take shape on the climb but it was the descent that sure it put under pressure as Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) pushed own the climb at pace. A re-grouping took place, but it was Roche who escaped to gain the most advantage on stage 10. 

La Vuelta – Stage 10: 

1. Matteo Trentin (Quickstep Floors) 3:34:56
2. Jose Joaquin Rojas (Movistar Team) +0:01
3. Jaime Roson (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) +0:19
13. Jack Haig (ORICA-SCOTT) +4:32

La Vuelta – General Classification after stage 10: 

1. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 40:12:44
2. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) +0:36
3. Nicholas Roche (BMC Racing) +0:36

Photo courtesy of TDWsport.