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Back to BMC Racing Team

Second Phase of the Vuelta a España Opens With a Bunch Sprint

4. September 2018, Fermoselle. Bermillo de Sayago — Road Team

Richie Porte tries to jump in the breakaway during stage 10. © Chris Auld Photography

The action resumed in Spain after yesterday’s rest day with Vuelta a España stage 10 coming down to the anticipated bunch sprint which was won by Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) and saw all eight BMC Racing Team riders cross the line safely.

It looked like it would be an active start to the day but after an initial bursts of attacks in the opening 10 kilometers, the peloton sat up and allowed just Jesus Ezquerra (Burgos-BH) to go clear.

The lone leaders’ advantage was sitting over three minutes around 20 kilometers later as Tiago Machado (Katusha Alpecin), who was initially joined by Richie Porte, jumped off the front of the peloton to bridge across to him at the front of the race.

BMC Racing Team was sitting comfortably in the main bunch behind which was being led by the sprinters’ teams as the fast and flat run into the finish line offered their leaders another opportunity to try to go for the stage win.

The gap between the leading duo and the peloton was sitting at 3’30” after 50 kilometers of racing and it continued to rise to over four minutes before the chase began to heat up with 100 kilometers to go.

30 kilometers later, the leading duo was being held two minutes up the road and eventually, at the start of the day’s only categorized climb, the category three Alto de Fermoselle, the gap had fallen to one minute.

The summit of the 4.9-kilometer long ascent came inside the final 30 kilometers of the stage and by this point, the two leaders had been swept up and the peloton was strung out along the road in single file due to the intense pace being set.

A late attack from Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH) with 20 kilometers to go saw him left dangling off the front of the bunch before the race was brought back together again inside the final 10 kilometers in preparation for the predicted bunch sprint.

In the end, after a battle for position, it was Viviani who took the stage win ahead of Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) while, Francisco Ventoso was BMC Racing Team’s first rider across the line, finishing inside the top 30.

Quotes From the Finish Line:

Richie Porte:

“It’s a tricky one coming out of a rest day because you don’t quite know how your legs are and you feel pretty bloated which I did. I would have liked to have been in the breakaway just to spin my legs a bit more. I need to get a bit more of a workload in and that was the goal today. It didn’t happen but it was still a pretty tough day in the bunch. The climb was really hard so I think we got through today relatively unscathed and tomorrow is another super hard stage.”

Francisco Ventoso:

“It was a strange day because at first there was just one rider in the breakaway and after around 10km, another rider joined him. All day there were some nerves in the peloton thinking about the wind. Everybody wanted to be in front but in the end, nothing really happened and it was good for us to get through it safely.”

Sports Director, Jackson Stewart:

“When we were looking at the stages coming into the Vuelta, we thought that this was a pretty clear sprint stage with the chance of some crosswinds which could have made it more difficult but with the forecast, it ended up looking like it was going to be a calmed day than we thought and clearly the sprinters’ teams were motivated for a stage like this.”

“For us to stay safe and get through today was just what we needed coming out of the rest ahead of what should be an aggressive day for us tomorrow.”

Race Profile

Vuelta a España

Stage 10: Salamanca > Fermoselle. Bermillo de Sayago, 177km

Top 3: 1. Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) 2. Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) 3. Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo)  

BMC Racing Team Top 3: 29. Francisco Ventoso 62. Nicolas Roche 130. Joey Rosskopf

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