ORICA-SCOTT aggressive on brutal stage 17 of La Vuelta

Wed 6 Sep 2017

Tour of Poland stage winner Jack Haig has finished in 12th position after an aggressive day of racing from ORICA-SCOTT on a brutal stage 17 of La Vuelta.

Haig attacked at the top of the penultimate climb and bridged across to teammate Magnus Cort who had dropped back from the breakaway, guiding the Australian into the bottom of the final ascent.

Earlier on the same climb, Adam Yates tried to launch with Esteban Chaves for an ambitious move 22km from the finish line but the pair were caught by the chasing group of favourites. 

Haig was eventually caught with thee kilometres to go, whilst ahead Stefan Denifl (Aqua Blue Sport) survived from the breakaway for a hallmark victory for the pro-conti team. 

“Finishing in the top ten, we’ve done that before on a number of occasions and so we wanted to get on the front foot to try to move up or go for a stage win,” sport director Neil Stephens explained. 

“Being aggressive, we knew had its risks and may in fact trip us up in the end but we were willing to try it.  We tried, we tried with Esteban, we tried with Jack. It didn’t work out but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to try again.

“We identified early on that Jack was going really well after his stage win in Poland. He has done some great work already this Tour of Spain and he deserved to have the opportunity on his own.”

How it happened:

Cort represented ORICA-SCOTT in their first major breakaway of La Vuelta. An initial group of four swelled to six as they rode out to a substantial advantage of over nine minutes. 

Astana Pro Team moved to the front of the peloton and significantly reduced the margin looking for another stage win.

ORICA-SCOTT launched the first major attack from the peloton on the penultimate climb with Chaves and Adam Yates and once the pair were caught Haig launched a counter move and met up with teammate Cort who dropped back from the breakaway. 

Behind, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) attacked from the reduced peloton to bridge and later drop Haig but the Spaniard didn’t have enough to reach Denifl, who survived from the breakaway. 

La Vuelta – Stage 17:

1. Stefan Denifl (Aqua Blue Sport) 4:48:52
2. Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) +0:28
3. Angel Miguel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) +1:04
12. Jack Haig (ORICA-SCOTT) +1:42

La Vuelta – General Classification after Stage 17:

1. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 67:44:03
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) +1:16
3. Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) +2:13
12. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) +10:46

Photo courtesy of TDWsport.