Yates retains lead despite late double puncture on stage 10 at La Vuelta

Tue 4 Sep 2018

Briton Simon Yates has retained the race lead at the Vuelta a Espana despite suffering from a double puncture in the closing stages of stage 10.

Safely paced back by his Mitchelton-SCOTT teammates, Yates finished in the bunch as the day concluded in a sprint won by Elia Viviani (Quickstep Floors). 

Small breakaway no threat to sprint:
Jesus Ezquerra (Burgos-BH) moved ahead of the bunch after 10km of racing and as his gap extended over a minute and a half, it looked like it was going to be a lonely day in the front.

Other attacks sprang from behind, but it was Movistar who immobilised most of them before Tiago Machado (Katusha Alpecin) was eventually allowed to bridge across to make two in the break.

As the sprint teams immediately took up the responsibilities in the bunch, the duo’s advantage sat at around four minutes before being reduced to under two minutes with 50km remaining. 

The race was all back together on the only climb of the day and despite a hard tempo set by Bora-Hansgrohe, it was Viviani who claimed stage honours in the bunch sprint. 

Late scare for Yates:
After a relatively stress-free day, Yates suffered a late scare, double puncturing whilst riding near the side of the road in the final 20km.

The puncture came at a time where a flurry of riders suffered the same fate, Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) also hampered by the same problem.

The 26-year-old quickly swapped his SCOTT bike with teammate Michael Albasini, before later switching back to his own bike, and was paced back into the bunch by his teammates without any harm done. 

Simon Yates:
“It could have been much, much worse today, we were expecting a bit more of a crosswind, but it was more of a headwind so it was ok.”

"I was just on the side of the road and I must have hit something or run over something and I had a double puncture which is not ideal but it could have been much worse.

“I’ve had some bad experience before having a puncture and waiting, then changing for my own bike or the wheel. Today we changed for Michael Albasini’s bike and it was a little too big, so we had to change again, but it was ok.

“It was quite a relaxed day and really nothing happened once the breakaway went away. The sprinters did all the work today, so full credit to those guys and for us it meant a relatively easy day.

“I wasn’t sure if there would be any attacks coming from Valverde, but in the end there wasn’t and that’s ok."

La Vuelta a Espana stage ten results:
1. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step-Floors) 04:08:08
2. Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) ST
3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segarfredo) ST
10. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

General classification after stage ten:
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 41:03:00
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0:01
3. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +0:14

Photos courtesy of Getty Images.