Yates and Mitchelton-SCOTT relinquish red on stage 12 of La VueltaThu 6 Sep 2018
After three days in the red jersey Mitchelton-SCOTT and Simon Yates have relinquished the race lead after stage 12 of La Vuelta.
In a calculated move, the Australian outfit allowed a large group of 18 to ride to a substantial advantage, effectively handing the jersey to Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) who started the day five-minutes 45seconds behind.
Big break breeze ahead:
After the 100km fight yesterday, it was an easier start to today’s stage with 18riders forming a breakaway that suited the peloton early.
Amongst the group was Herrada, the top placed rider on the GC at the start of the day, and Alezandre Geniez (AG2R La Mondiale), Dylan van Baarle (Team Sky) and Mark Padun (Bahrain Merida) who finished as the top three riders on the stage.
Controlling but not closing:
As the break established, Mitchelton-SCOTT took their position at the head of the peloton but allowed the gap to grow out to around ten minutes.
With the big mountain stages still to come, the team took the decision to control the advantage rather than chase and close it, saving vital energy and staying true to the approach establish before the Tour’s start.
As Herrada finished 16th, over two minutes down on the stage winner, the clock ticked away.
Yates crossed the line amongst the main bunch a further nine minutes a drift to now sit second overall at three-minutes 22seconds.
“We rode to try and keep the breakaway at a reasonable gap and the guys did a really good job, but now we’re looking forward to the race starting for real, which is tomorrow. I am feeling good so now I’ve just got to try and recover before then.”
“We couldn't control everything again. There was a lot of tired guys in the peloton today so sometimes you have to take a bit of a risk but that's how it is.
“We decided not to really chase anyone today, we were just going to ride to keep it at a decent gap and that’s what we did. Now we don’t have to control anything before the weekend, it's a really important part of the race.”
La Vuelta - Stage 12 Results:
1. Alexandre Geniez (AG2R-La Mondiale) 04:22:59
2. Dylan Van Baarle (Team-Sky) ST
3. Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida) ST
22. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +11:39
General Classification after Stage 12:
1. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) 50:28:56
2. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +3:22
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +3:23
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.