Grmay attacks for 10th on stage 6 at the La Vuelta

Thu 29 Aug 2019

Ethiopian Tsgabu Grmay finished tenth on stage six of La Vuelta a Espana after an aggressive day of racing saw him ride himself into a strong breakaway group before attacking alone with a little under 30km remaining. 

Mitchelton-SCOTT teammate Esteban Chaves finished amongst the general classification contenders, five minutes 44seconds behind stage winner Jesus Herrada (Cofidis).

After the shake-up of the breakaway and a heavy crash earlier in the stage that saw several riders withdraw from the race, Chaves now sits eighth overall, two minutes 17seconds behind new leader Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida).

Battle for the breakaway:
An uphill start and the memories of yesterday’s stage fresh in mind saw an aggressive start to stage six and it took almost 50km for the breakaway to form. 

Grmay rode himself in a group of 11 but, despite working well together, the peloton kept them within a couple of minutes for much of the stage before they eventually relinquished control.

Grmay attacks the final:
Not willing to ride amongst a group that featured riders who could threaten the red jersey, Grmay took his chance and attacked the break with a little under 30km remaining. 

By the top of the penultimate climb he had an advantage of 30seconds before Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team) attacked and joined the Ethiopian on the decent.

The duo led the race up the final climb, but attacks from behind with three kilometres left to go saw them caught and passed by Herrada and Theuns who eventually contested the stage victory.

Tsgabu Grmay:
“I felt OK, for sure everyone was tired because the start of the stage was really hard. 

“I saw the riders were too strong and in the last climb I knew I couldn’t drop them or follow them so the only chance I had was to go early and I did my best to try to stay away.

“So many riders wanted to go in the breakaway and also from our team, we wanted to be part of it. I put myself in and that was always the plan.

“It’s another experience. If you don’t try something you don’t win so I’m happy.”    

Julian Dean – Sport Director:
“We knew it was going to be a hard start and a race where the breakaway should win. 

“That was the idea and Tsgabu did a great job, especially as it was an extremely hard start, to get in there. He obviously had a strategy in mind, he had a crack and he had a good ride.

“Everything else went smoothly, there was a couple of attacks from the GC group in the final but they all finished together in the end.”

La Vuelta – Stage 6 Results:
1. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis, Solutions Credit) 4:43:55
2. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) +0:07
3. Dorian Godon (AG2R La Mondiale) +0:21
10. Tsgabu Grmay (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +2:35 

La Vuelta – General Classification after Stage 6:
1. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) 23:44:00
2. David De La Cruz (Team Ineos) +0:38
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) +1:00
8. Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +2:17

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.