Yates extends lead at La Vuelta as time trial shakes up general classification
Briton Simon Yates has extended his lead at the Vuelta a Espana with a strong time trial performance on stage 16.
The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider finished 13th on the stage, won by Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team), and extended his overall lead to Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) to 33seconds whilst their fellow contenders shuffled around below.
Race against the clock:
The 35km suited the specialist time triallists with winner Dennis averaging over 50km per hour.
Yates tried to pace himself on the first section of the race, before putting it all on the line to the finish. The 26-year-old was sixth fastest at the first intermediate checkpoint after 10km and the second after 21km before sacrificing a few positions in the closing kilometres.
The overall situation:
Yates’ performance for 13th place saw him lose time to Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Enric Mas (Quickstep Floors) but gain on his other competitors.
Valverde lost nine seconds to Yates, whilst Colombian duo Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) and Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) lost 42seconds and 51seconds each.
Yates now has 33seconds to Valverde, 52seconds to Kruijswijk, one-minute 15seconds to Quintana, one-minute 30seconds to Mas and one-minute 34seconds to Lopez.
“I did a really good ride, I was really well in the very beginning and on the hard climbs I had the perfect pacing strategy, but in the final, I was just dying like everybody else and it wasn’t nice.”
“Thirty-three seconds over Valverde is not that much, I had much more of an advantage in the Giro, over a minute and we all know how that finished in the end, but there’s still a long way to here and we’ll see how tomorrow goes.
“Kruijswijk has been strong everyday so far and slowly getting better with each stage. He’s also normally good in the third week of a Grand Tour and a real diesel engine. He’s a good guy and now he’s up to third we’ll have to be very wary of him.”
La Vuelta a Espana stage 16 (ITT) results:
1. Rohan Dennis (BMC-Racing-Team) 00:37:57
2. Joey Rosskopf (BMC-Racing-Team) +0:50
3. Jonathan Castroviejo (Team-Sky) +0:50
13. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +1:28
General classification after stage 16:
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 64:52:58
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0:33
3. Stephen Kruijswijk (Team-LottoNL-Jumbo) +0:52