ORICA-GreenEDGE neo-pro Simon Yates continues to put his developing climbing prowess to impressive use. The 21-year-old briefly led the fourth stage of Vuelta al Pais Vasco solo, coming off Pieter Weening’s wheel to lead into the lower slopes of the final climb of Usartza. Weening propped Yates up the road ahead of the category one climb, giving the Brit an 8” advantage over the reduced bunch that included the overall contenders and the mountain goats.
Although Yates wasn’t able to respond to the race winning move made by Wout Poels on the upper slopes of the final climb, he finished a respectable 17th place on the stage, 45” behind the Omega Pharma Quick-Step rider who soloed to victory in Arrate. Yates’ efforts afforded him a jump up the overall classification from 21st place to 17th overall, 58” behind race leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and a firm grasp on the lead in the best young rider competition.
“The boys initiated that move. It was a great effort. Pieter’s main job for the day was to make sure that Simon was well looked after coming into the town of Eibar. When the race hits that point, it’s always difficult with narrow roads, round-abouts, and lots of pushing and shoving.
"When they came into Eibar, Pete said: ‘Look, if we’re near the front, we might as well go off the front’ – and that’s what they did. Pete told Simon to ride within himself and wait for the group to come back to him. That way if there was an attack off front after he was caught, he still had some energy left to try to go for it. It always takes more effort to stay away than to stay in the bunch. But Simon didn’t give it everything to hold off the group. He saved something to follow once he was caught.” - Sport Director Neil Stephens
|1||Wout Poels (Ned) - Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team||3:39:29|
|2||Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) - Movistar Team||0:00:01|
|3||Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) - BMC Racing Team||ST|
|4||Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) - Garmin Sharp||0:00:03|
|5||Bauke Mollema (Ned) - Belkin-Pro Cycling Team||ST|
|6||Iurii Trofimov (Rus) - Team Katusha||ST|
|7||Cadel Evans (Aus) - BMC Racing Team||ST|
|8||Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) - Astana Pro Team||ST|
|9||Damiano Cunego (Ita) - Lampre-Merida||ST|
|10||Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) - Tinkoff-Saxo||ST|
|17||Simon Yates (GBr) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:00:42|
|61||Pieter Weening (Ned) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:08:36|
|71||Adam Yates (GBr) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:12:17|
|94||Michael Albasini (Swi) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:18:01|
|118||Esteban Chaves (Col) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:22:18|
|130||Michael Matthews (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|