Simon Yates takes fourth on the final stage and fourth overall at the Vuelta a Burgos

Sat 6 Aug 2016

Simon Yates produced another impressive performance for ORICA-BikeExchange on stage five of the Vuelta a Burgos today, finishing in fourth place on the stage and securing fourth overall on a tightly contested general classification.

The 23-year-old Briton competed strongly over seven categorised climbs before following the final attack by race winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) on the hors category summit finish in Lagunas de Neila.

The result caps off a solid week of racing for ORICA-BikeExchange in Spain and bodes well for the upcoming Vuelta a Espana.

Sport director Dave McPartland was pleased with the result and the positive attitude within the team.

“Our goal for the race was to try and achieve a good result on the general classification and I’m pleased that we managed to realise that,” said McPartland. “The whole team have supported Simon (Yates) really well throughout the last five days, especially on today’s tough stage.”

“It’s a great result against a predominantly world class field and we were only off the overall podium by a few seconds.

“Simon wasn’t feeling super today yet he still gave it everything he had and we are all more than satisfied with the teams performance. There were some very strong attacks on the final climb and Simon's attitude and work ethic was of the highest level.

“We can take a lot of positives out of this race and hopefully carry our good form and work into the upcoming Vuelta a Espana.”

Slovenian lead out specialist Luka Mezgec came close in the sprints with two top ten finishes on stages one and three and also showed his ability to get over the tough climbs that featured throughout the final two days.

Spanish climber Amets Txurruka animated the breakaway on stage four and provided excellent support for Yates alongside Australian Damien Howson.

Strongmen Christian Meier and Mitch Docker rode consistently over the five-day race while ORICA-BikeExchange debutants Carlos Verona and Nick Schultz impressed on their first outing for the team.

How it happened:

A mountainous 163kilometre final stage got underway under clear blue skies and blazing sunshine.

The first 45kilometres were quite tense with numerous attacks attempting to form without success. Finally a group of six riders went clear after 55kilometres of racing with a gap of just over one minute.

Twenty kilometres later and the advantage of the six leaders had developed to over three minutes.

The peaks and valleys of the stage proved to be too much for some as the peloton began to reduce heavily inside the final 50kilometres with the leaders hovering around the three-minute mark.

Team Sky and Etixx-Quickstep were active at the front of the peloton alongside ORICA-BikeExchange with 35kilometres to go and the breakaway now less than two minutes ahead.

Omar Fraile (Dimension-Data) attacked from the breakaway inside the last 30kilometres as splits also began to form in the bunch behind as Michele Scarponi (Astana) and Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-quickstep) went clear.

Scarponi and Brambilla bridged across to Fraile along with Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) before the start of the penultimate climb.

By this point Simon Yates was in the first chasing group that also included Contador some 45seconds behind the Visconti group.

The race came back together with on the brutal hors category final climb with around 40 riders making up the selection.

Brambilla attacked behind Sergio Pardilla (Caja-Rural) and split the bunch with five kilometres to go forming an elite group of eight riders that included Yates and Contador.

The race blew apart in the final couple of kilometres with Pardilla holding on for the stage win and Contador and Yates sprinting clear of the chasers with Ben Hermans (BMC).

Yates crossed the line in fourth place and sealed fourth on the general classification behind race winner Contador.

Vuelta a Burgos stage five results:

1. Sergio Pardilla (Caja-Rural) 04:13:34
2. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) 00:00:17
3. Ben Hermans (BMC) 00:00:22
4. Simon Yates (ORICA-BikeExchange) 00:00:24 

Final General classification:

1. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) 15:50:50
2. Ben Hermans (BMC) 00:00:01
3. Sergio Pardilla (Caja-Rural) 00:00:01
4. Simon Yates (ORICA-BikeExchange) 00:00:04