Teuns Climbs to Fourth on a Brutal Final Stage in Pais Vasco7. April 2018, Arrate (ESP) — Road Team
Dylan Teuns continued to show his form on a tough final day of racing at Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, riding to fourth on the line after an impressive performance on the steep slopes of the final climb.
While it may have only been 122.2km long, stage 6 certainly packed a punch with eight categorized climbs littering the course including the category one Usartza climb up to the finish in Arrate which has now become synonymous with the race.
With the road rising from KM 0, it was no surprise to see the attacks starting early however with the race leader, and eventual winner, Primož Roglič (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) distanced following a crash in the bunch, the pace at the front increased significantly and forced splits to form.
After covering only 20km of the course, there were riders all along the road with Teuns, Damiano Caruso, and Alessandro De Marchi making it into the first part of the peloton which Roglič had also been able to ride across to.
The attacks continued and with 90km to go, six riders went clear but the relentless pace still being set behind saw their advantage settling at just 20 seconds, enough to allow more riders try to bridge across from the reduced main bunch.
Heading into the second half of the stage the breakaway, which was now 14 riders strong, had been able to extend its advantage out to over three minutes as the peloton began to split further with Movistar Team driving the chase.
The pace began to take its toll on both the front of the race and the main chasing group with just four riders left in the breakaway and 20 riders, including Teuns and Caruso, behind by the time the race reached the foot of the brutal final 3.1km climb, which had an average gradient of 12.7%.
Almost immediately the race exploded with Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) going solo inside 5km to go as Teuns began to show his strength by responding to a series of attacks from the General Classification contenders.
On the short descent to the finish, Mas was holding onto a 20-second advantage while Teuns, who started the day sitting 16th on the General Classification, dug deep and was sitting fifth wheel on the road before sprinting to fourth on the stage and moving up into 11th overall, 5’35” back.
Caruso also put in a strong performance during the closing stages of the day and just missed out on a spot in top ten, finishing 11th as part of the race leader’s group 1’06” back.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“This is a good result for me. I didn’t expect it but I felt pretty good this morning and then I decided to give everything on the last climb. I was hoping to try and fight for the win but the guys in front of me were just a bit too strong. I came close though but not close enough. However, I think it was a good performance for me.”
“I was also able to climb up the General Classification over the past few stages and actually I think this was maybe the best way to try and do it. If you’re up there at the end of stage 1 you then have to fight every day but instead this week, I was able to do my own race without pressure and I moved up pretty easily. In the end, it’s a pity that I didn’t do a top ten result because I think that if I didn’t have this bad luck on day one I could maybe have been close to the top five, we don’t know.”
Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
“We came here with the idea that we wanted to go for the General Classification and also for stages. We had bad luck on the first day but then we saw that Dylan Teuns was getting better and better every day. On the time trial, even though it is not his specialty, we saw that he is strong and that he was motivated.”
“Today was an amazing race for him and I think he is ready for the Classics to come. I am happy with today’s result and we finished the race well after a difficult start. I think Dylan is a little disappointed that he lost time on the first stage because if that didn’t happen, he would for sure be in the top ten. His focus, however, is on the Ardennes but I’m sure this result will add to his motivation for the races to come.”
Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco
Stage 6: Eibar > Arrate, 122.2km
Top 3: 1. Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) 2. Mikel Landa (Movistar Team) 3. Ion Izagirre (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 4. Dylan Teuns 11. Damiano Caruso 74. Alessandro De Marchi
Top 3 on GC: 1. Primož Roglič (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) 2. Mikel Landa (Movistar Team) 3. Ion Izagirre (Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team)
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 11. Dylan Teuns 51. Alessandro De Marchi 67. Damiano Caruso