Hermans Secures Second Overall at Vuelta a Burgos6. August 2016, Lagunas de Neila (ESP) — Road Team
Ben Hermans showed off his climbing legs on the queen stage of Vuelta a Burgos to battle it to the line to take third place, and move into second place on the General Classification.
After three sprint stages and a Team Time Trial, the General Classification came down to the tough mountainous stage with seven category climbs, which sees Hermans secure his best stage race result for the season.
Six riders eventually formed the breakaway of the day and were eventually reeled in within the last 20 kilometers of racing. The summit finish of Lagunas de Neila set the scene for the final battle with stage winner Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA) launching a solo attack, and Hermans and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) leading the chase.
Hermans and Contador went head to head in the final kilometer, with Contador edging clear from Hermans in the final 300 meters.
BMC Racing Team concludes a successful first time racing at Vuelta a Burgos with four top three stage results, Jempy Drucker second on the Points Classification, and Hermans’ second place overall.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“I was just waiting until the last 1.5km to go because it was there that the road kicked up to more than 10 percent. I was sitting pretty easy in the wheels but then Pardilla attacked and nobody responded so he took 40 or 50 seconds quite quickly. I actually wanted a really hard introduction to that last 1.5km but everybody could recover a bit so it was really explosive when we hit the steep climb. I attacked straight from the bottom with 1.5km to go and only Contador could follow, but he didn’t pull. Then at 500 meters to go he attacked and gained four or five seconds on me. I thought he would fly away from me but he stayed there and then I realized that I was in contention for the GC, so I gave it everything I had.”
“I can go into the Vuelta a Espana confident. It’s always better to have a win rather than looking forward to a win but I make out of it and we’ll see what happens.”
Max Sciandri, Sports Director:
“It’s a good result for Ben Hermans and for the team. It was more or less the plan going into today to have Ben as our main option for the climbs. We had the guys on the look out for the breakaway but in the end it went at 60 or 70km and mostly with small teams, so we didn’t jump in it. We knew that it would come down to the last lap and that it would be a tempo ride. It was a hard pace so it cleaned the group out and we had Ben and Samuel Sanchez in there. Ben knew he had the legs and could hang on, whereas Samuel had already said that he felt good but wasn’t at 100% form as he is building up for the Vuelta a Espana.”
“It was our first time racing at Vuelta a Burgos and we are leaving fairly happy with our results. We were up there in every stage and it was a good way of getting some much-needed race days in the legs for a lot of the guys who are going for Vuelta a Espana selection. There’s no such thing as an easy race and today’s stage was definitely a good indication of where everyone is at in terms of form.”
Vuelta a Burgos
Stage 5: Caleruega › Lagunas de Neila (163km)
Top 3: Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Ben Hermans (BMC Racing Team)
Top 3 GC: Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Ben Hermans (BMC Racing Team), Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural – Seguros RGA).