Yates twins on the attack on epic stage 20 of La Vuelta

Sat 9 Sep 2017

British twins Adam and Simon Yates went on the attack on an epic stage 20 of La Vuelta today, forming part of a large breakaway that animated the final general classification stage of this year’s Tour. 

The ORICA-SCOTT duo joined 16 others in the move, but a determined Trek-Segafredo controlled the short 117.5km stage to lead retiring Spaniard Alberto Contador to a final victory.

“The boys did a great job to get the twins into the breakaway,” sport director Neil Stephens said. “It was a hard stage to do anything on because the general classification was still up for grabs and Contador’s team, rightly so, controlled things.” 

“We gave it a crack, we were close but no cigar. 

“Everyone knows the spirit of the team is to give it everything, we have tried everything we could. The results we haven’t walked away with are not a reflection of the spirit of the team. We are still positive, we have tried, we’ve have a great work ethic, it just hasn’t come off yet.” 

With one stage to go, ORICA-SCOTT will look to repeat the performance on last year to take a so-far elusive victory with Magnus Cort in Madrid. 

“We will keep trying right to the finish and Maggie, as much as is possible with such grueling days, has been trying to look after himself these past couple of days and the boys are really motivated to try to get him back up for the stage win in Madrid again.” 

How it happened:

Despite an early crash, Simon Yates joined Adam Yates in the day's breakaway.

With final podium positions at stake the peloton didn’t allow the breakaway, which contained 18 riders, much room to breathe and kept them within two minutes for the entire stage.  

As the break fragmented on the climbs, the Yates twins were in the final six survivors before Adam Yates lost touch first.

Alberto Contador (Trek Segafredo) launched an attack from the peloton and bridged across to the breakaway.  

Simon Yates was able to hang onto the lead group slightly longer than his borther before losing touch with seven kilometers to go thanks to the pace set by the retiring Spaniard. 

Behind, a select group of general classification riders were 40seconds adrift with six kilometers remaining, with Esteban Chaves having just dropped off the back.

Contador, now solo in front, extended his advantage to one-minute 20seconds, but Froome wasn't done and attacked from his group behind with two kilometers remaining as second placed Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Mérida) lost touch. 

The move was too late for Froome for the stage win, as Contador went on to claim the victory by 17seconds, but it sealed his 2017 Tour de France / Vuelta a Espana double.

La Vuelta – Stage 20:

1. Alberto Contador (Trek Segafredo) 3:31:33
2. Wout Poels (Team Sky) +0:17
3. Chris Froome (Team Sky) +0:17
20. Simon Yates (ORICA-SCOTT) +4:18

La Vuelta – General Classification after stage 20: 

1. Chris Froome (Team Sky) 79:23:37
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) +2:15
3. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha Alpecin) +2:51
11. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) +16:32

Photo courtesy of TDWsport.