ORICA-BikeExchange produced a controlled team performance on stage 16 of the Vuelta a Espana today with Esteban Chaves and stage six winner Simon Yates holding on to third and fifth on the general classification ahead of tomorrows rest day.
A fairly uneventful yet tense stage resulted in a fast finale with the stage victory going to Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC) from a reduced bunch sprint, with Chaves placing 14th on the day and retaining third place on the general classification behind race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
Fifth place Yates and New Zealander Sam Bewley both went down in a crash around the 90kilometre mark, but thankfully suffered no serious injuries and duly made it back into the peloton.
ORICA-BikeExchange held good positions throughout the stage and the team’s diligent work was rewarded by successfully retaining two top five positions on the general classification with five more days of racing to come.
Sport director Neil Stephens spoke of the tension throughout the stage.
“Today was a less hard day physically but the level of stress remained really high,” said Stephens. “I think it was a combination of yesterday’s action from the breakaway and the splits that followed."
|1||Jean-Pierre Drucker (LUX) - BMC Racing Team||3:21:18|
|2||Rudiger Selig (GER) - Bora-Argon 18||ST|
|3||Nikias Arndt (GER) - Team Giant-Alpecin||ST|
|4||Gianni Meersman (BEL) - Etixx - Quick-Step||ST|
|5||Lorenzo Manzin (FRA) - FDJ||ST|
|6||Jonas Vangenechten (BEL) - IAM Cycling||ST|
|7||Kristian Sbaragli (ITA) - Dimension Data||ST|
|8||Kiel Reijnen (USA) - Trek-Segafredo||ST|
|9||Tosh Van Der Sande (BEL) - Lotto Soudal||ST|
|10||Jhonatan Restrepo (COL) - Team Katusha||ST|
|14||Esteban Chaves (COL) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:00:02|
|30||Jens Keukeleire (BEL) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:00:02|
|32||Magnus Cort Nielsen (DEN) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:00:02|
|37||Simon Yates (GBR) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:00:02|
|55||Simon Gerrans (AUS) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:00:18|
|82||Damien Howson (AUS) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:00:32|
|120||Svein Tuft (CAN) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:03:35|
|121||Sam Bewley (NZL) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:03:35|
|158||Jack Haig (AUS) - ORICA-BikeExchange||0:04:35|