Tough day, but Yates remains in red after stage 11 of La VueltaWed 5 Sep 2018
An onslaught of attacks characterised stage 11 of the Vuelta a Espana, the longest stage of the 2018 edition, before Simon Yates secured the red leader’s jersey for another day.
After over 100km of controlling the moves, Mitchelton-SCOTT placed Jack Haig in a large breakaway of 19 riders, and it was Movistar who then had to chase in pursuit.
As Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing Team) won the stage from the breakaway, the reduced general classification group finished two minutes in arrears for no change to the overall standings.
Despite lacking the hardest mountains of this year’s La Vuelta, stage 11 threatened to be one of the toughest days on the road and it didn’t disappoint.
Mitchelton-SCOTT worked tirelessly to control repeated attacks that battered the peloton before eventually, after over 100km of furious racing, placing Haig in a 19-rider group which quickly established a growing gap of over one-minute.
After the early patrolling and Haig in the move for Mitchelton-SCOTT, it was Movistar Team who reacted at the head of the bunch as the breakaway’s advantage grew out to over four minutes.
The threat of Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), who was two and a half minutes down on the general classification, was enough to put the pressure on and by the final kilometres just 14 riders remained in the contenders group.
As De Marchi went on to win the stage, Pinot gained just 12seconds on the main group of contenders, which contained Yates.
“It was a really crazy race today and the boys rode great again, they’re going to be tired now. It was ok for me, I was in the peloton just trying to save energy. We worked hard over the first 100kilometres marking and closing the moves, trying to control it but there comes a point when you can only control it for so long.”
“There was some danger in the break, like Pinot, and for us we had Jack in there doing a great job. Movistar took it up for the final 80kilometres at the head of the bunch. They have the best two GC riders in the race and closest to me overall – it was their decision to pull, but sooner or later someone was going to come up there and set the tempo.
“I think everyone was respecting a stage like today with the roads around here being very technical and it was really hard. I am looking forward to the mountain stages to come, there’s only been two real GC days so far and I am looking forward to getting stuck in.”
La Vuelta a Espana stage eleven results:
1. Alessandro De Marchi (BMC-Racing-Team) 04:52:38
2. Jonathan Restreppo (Katusha-Alpecin) +0:28
3. Franco Pellizotti (Bahrain-Merida) +0:59
16. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +2:02
General classification after stage eleven:
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 45:57:40
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 0:01
3. Nairo Qunitana (Movistar) +0:14
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.