De la Cruz takes stage 9, shock Vuelta lead

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

SPAN­ISH rider David de la Cruz won stage nine and claimed the over­all lead of the Vuelta a Es­pana on Au­gust 28 with a de­ci­sive at­tack 500 me­tres from the line. De la Cruz beat out Bel­gian Dries Devenyns and Italy’s Moreno Moser in a time of 3hrs 47min 56sec on the 164.5-kilo­me­tre (102-mile) stage from Cistierna to Oviedo.

The gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion favourites in­clud­ing overnight leader Nairo Quin­tana and Tour de France win­ner Chris Froome fin­ished 2min 56sec back.

That gap al­lowed De la Cruz to jump to the top of the stand­ings, 22 sec­onds clear of Quin­tana with his Mo­vis­tar team­mate Ale­jan­dro Valverde 19 sec­onds fur­ther back.

Froome slipped to fourth, eight sec­onds fur­ther adrift, in his quest to be­come the first man in 38 years to win both the Tour de France and Vuelta a Es­pana in the same year.

De­spite fac­ing an­other pun­ish­ing cat­e­gory-two climb to the fin­ish over the Alto de Naranco, a 12-man break­away was never reeled in by the pelo­ton af­ter build­ing up a fiveminute lead.

That sparked a se­ries of at­tacks from the strong break­away group, but it even­tu­ally came down to a clash be­tween De la Cruz and Devenyns for the stage win.

But when De la Cruz kicked for the line in the fi­nal kilo­me­tre, Devenyns couldn’t stick with him.

“I wasn’t think­ing about the lead at the end. I was so close to win­ning the stage, that was my main ob­jec­tive,” said De la Cruz.

“It was very hard to ride with Devenyns be­cause he was hard to beat, but I am the leader as well, I can’t be­lieve it.”

The 27-year-old was in tears and kissed the red jersey as he stood atop the podium.

And with an­other gru­elling sum­mit fin­ish up the spe­cial cat­e­gory Mi­rador de la Reina yes­ter­day be­fore the first rest day of the race to­day, De la Cruz was in­tent on savour­ing his mo­ment in red.

Three-time Vuelta win­ner Al­berto Con­ta­dor also fin­ished among the gen­eral clas­si­fi­ca­tion group to re­main 2min 01sec off the lead in sev­enth over­all.

Con­ta­dor suf­fered a dif­fi­cult first week as his Tinkoff-Saxo team lost 52 sec­onds on the open­ing team time­trial stage and he suf­fered a huge crash on stage seven.

How­ever, he made up some time on Froome and Valverde on Satur­day and is hop­ing with more time to heal he can launch a bid for a record­e­qualling fourth Vuelta win.

“I passed the day without prob­lems, let’s see if to­mor­row I keep im­prov­ing. First, I want to main­tain this level and then, ob­vi­ously, if there’s a chance I will at­tack,” said Con­ta­dor.

“Yes­ter­day was a good day for me, be­cause the most im­por­tant thing was to sur­vive and, fi­nally, I even took time off some favourites.

“To­day was a qui­eter day, we al­ready knew Alto del Naranco is a climb where it is dif­fi­cult to make gaps. The legs have been good, now the im­por­tant thing is to rest and to keep work­ing with the phys­io­ther­a­pists in or­der to be a bit bet­ter to­mor­row.” –

Photo: AFP

Span­ish cy­clist David de la Cruz of Team Etixx-Quick Step cel­e­brates as he crosses the fin­ish line dur­ing the ninth stage of the 71st Tour of Spain on Au­gust 28.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.