Three in the top ten on Ruta del Sol time trial stageFri 22 Feb 2019
Mitchelton-SCOTT finished with three riders inside the top ten on today’s tough individual time trial stage at Ruta del Sol with Adam Yates the highest finisher in fifth place. Jack Haig finished close behind, just one second down for sixth place and Vuelta a España winner Simon Yates took eighth spot.
Haig slipped down a couple of places to fifth overall but still remains within striking distance, just 21seconds down on the stage winner and overall race leader Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal), heading into tomorrow’s Queen stage.
Early in the hotseat
As an early started, Simon Yates blasted around the hilly 16.3km course, crossing the line with a time of 22minutes and 47seconds, the fastest time in the early standings.
Simon Yates’ time proved to be hard to beat and remained the quickest until over half the peloton completed the distance. It wasn't until his brother Adam Yates finished, that the time was beated and Simon was knocked off the top step, with Adam going seven seconds quicker.
Brothers lead the way
Sitting in first and second place in the standing’s, riders crossed the line but it looked like nobody could better their times. As the final 10riders took to the strat ramp, Steven Kruiswijk (Jumbo-Visma) was the next rider to go quickest with a time six-second faster.
By this point quickest time continued to change all the way until the final rider, Wellens, who claimed another stage victory.
“I am quite happy with the result today, time trialling has never really been my strongest point, I’ve always been ok but not ever top ten or even top 20 in the previous years. This year with a top ten in Valencia and again today, it is really nice to see the progression in my time trialling and also it was a pretty high quality field here so it is nice to be amongst those names.
“The downhill was super fast but it was a good course and suited the climbers and you can see in the results. It was about a ten minute effort to the top of the first climb and then fast descent and the last four or five minutes were really hard.
“It is nice to consolidate my place in the general classification after today’s time trial and with the stage coming tomorrow. It will be interesting because it is not a hill top, we have 20km of descending afterwards. I know the final climb quite well so we will give it a good go and tomorrow is the last day to try and get on the podium so we will give it a go.”
Laurenzo Lapage - Sport Director
“The guys rode really well, Jack did a really good one, he kept his chances for tomorrow and with our team we can do some damage. Lotto-Soudal will have to control tomorrow, it will not be easy because they have Wellens but also you need climbers and if you see our team we have four or five guys that can go far.”
“Three in the top ten shows the level of the team and you can see the guys worked well the last days and coming into this and they will come out of this even better.”
Ruta del Sol - Stage 3 Results:
1. Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) 0:22:25
2. Jakob Fugslang (Astana) +0:02
3. Ion Izaguirre (Astana) +0:09
5. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:15
Ruta del Sol - General Classification after Stage 3:
1. Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) 10:42:05
2. Jakob Fugslang (Astana) +0:07
3. Ion Izaguirre (Astana) +0:14
5. Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:21
Photos courtesy of Getty Images