Vuelta a Espana Stage 11: Another Day in the Breakaway for Hermans31. August 2016, Pena Cabarga (ESP) — Road Team
Ben Hermans tried his luck in the breakaway on stage 11 and was in a good position to contend for the stage win with a solo attack on the final climb.
Hermans formed part of the day’s 23-rider breakaway that went away after one hour of racing. The group quickly built an advantage of five minutes but were kept under control by Tinkoff, who picked up the pace and brought the breakaway’s advantage back down.
At the base of the Pena Cabarga climb, the advantage of Hermans’ group was under one minute but an attack from Hermans saw their lead stabilize, before he went on to attack again and lead the race solo with 5km to go.
Hermans fought to keep the General Classification contenders at bay but they eventually brought him back 3km before the line, making way for multiple attacks from the group.
It came down to a one-on-one battle between Chris Froome (Team Sky) and race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team), with Froome eventually taking the win and Samuel Sanchez crossing the line in 10th place, 30 seconds behind Froome.
Sanchez remains in 10th place on the General Classification, 3’56” behind Quintana.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I think that’s racing. I don’t know what the plan was behind this, why Tinkoff pulled so hard. I think if they had kept us close at four minutes or something I never would have taken the jersey as I’m not a threat in the GC. We only had 30 or 40 seconds at the bottom of the climb and I think if I had 1’40” I could make it to the finish. The team was really motivated to go in the break. I saw all of my teammates going in every breakaway but I was the lucky one. I chose the right moment. I attacked myself actually on a bridge. At first I thought that all of the peloton was on my wheel but there so many guys there, it was a big group. It was perfect for me as I didn’t have to do too much at the front and we gained 5 minutes quite quickly so everybody was thinking that we would go to the climb for the stage win. I was even thinking about the jersey, but they really had to do a lot of work. I will pay for this effort for sure. Today I had really fresh legs because of the rest day but for sure tomorrow I will feel the fatigue.”
“Today was a hard day because of the pace. The pace at the beginning was too fast. It was a one-hour fight for the breakaway to go away, and then the breakaway finally went away with 24 riders more or less. Then it slowed down but only for about 5km and then Tinkoff started pulling super hard and too fast. The final climb was good. It was a good tempo from Movistar, and then attacks from Sky and [Estaban Chaves]. I was behind the favorites and lost 25, maybe 26 seconds on Chris Froome. The Vuelta a Espana is one day less and there’s eight days which are super complicated. It’s a hard Vuelta and today was super fast.”
Vuelta a Espana
Stage 11: Colunga.Museo Jurasico > Pena Cabarga (168.6km)
Top 3: 1. Chris Froome (Team Sky), 2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team), 3. Alejandro Valverde
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 10. Samuel Sánchez, 21. Ben Hermans, 32. Darwin Atapuma
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 10. Samuel Sánchez, 17. Darwin Atapuma, 21. Ben Hermans
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.