Teuns Digs Deep to Secure Third After a Day in the Breakaway on Vuelta a España Stage 92. September 2018, La Covatilla (ESP) — Road Team
Dylan Teuns secured the best Grand Tour stage result of his career so far today, pushing himself all the way to the line to take third place on the summit finish of Vuelta a España stage 9.
After testing himself during yesterday's brutal uphill sprint, Teuns led the way for BMC Racing Team on stage 9 by riding himself into the early 11-rider breakaway which had opened up an advantage of more than three minutes after 20km, of the 200.8km course.
On the early slopes of the first in a series of three back-to-back categorized climbs, the category one Puerto del Pico which had a gradient that reached 15% at the summit, the leaders continued to extend their advantage out to more than five minutes with race leader at the start of the day, Rudy Molard's Groupama-FDJ teammates working at the front of the peloton.
Teuns continued to help drive the pace over the next two climbs, the category three Alto de Gredos and the category two Puero de Pena Negra, and despite the peloton trying to keep the race under control, the breakaway began the descent of the third climb, and headed into the second half of the day, with a lead of around 6'40".
Ben King (Team Dimension Data), who started the day 6'34" behind Molard, posed the most danger to the General Classification contenders at the front of the race and subsequently a more determined effort began behind the breakaway on the long undulating run into the base of the final climb, the categoría especial Alto de la Covatilla.
However, this increase in pace only spurred the leaders on further with their advantage rising once again and, after some of the impetus was lost at the front of the main bunch, the gap grew to almost ten minutes approaching the 50km to go mark.
It was soon clear that Teuns and his fellow early attackers would go on to race for the stage win which came down to a battle of wills on the 9.8km long ascent to the finish line, which had an average gradient of 7.1% and pitches of up to 12% in places.
The first attacks from the breakaway began inside 30km to go and Teuns was able to follow the initial bursts of acceleration before King went solo before the official start of the climb, a move which would ultimately see him take the stage win.
As the first chasing group began to split on the early slopes of the Alto de la Covatilla, Teuns continued to set his own tempo and dug deep to remain in third position on the road, with just King and Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) ahead of him, inside 5km to go.
Despite the General Classification race, which ultimately saw Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) move into the red jersey, heating up behind him, Teuns was able to hold on with gritted teeth to secure third on the line, 2'38 behind King.
The peloton had fractured into various pieces in the closing kilometers of the day with Alessandro De Marchi and Richie Porte the next two BMC Racing Team riders across the line, finishing over nine minutes and 11 minutes back respectively.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
"This is a good result for me. When you do an effort like this, you try to finish it off but in the end, there were only two guys stronger than me. It's a pity but there's no shame in being third."
"The last climb was really tough. In the last 3km, I really felt the pressure and I had to go all out in the final 1.5km to make sure I held off the chasers behind."
"At the beginning of the stage, there was a little bit of a plan to try and go in the breakaway but I wasn't going to spend a lot of energy to get into it and actually, I didn't have to do that so I was happy to be there and overall, I am happy with how my day went."
Vuelta a España
Stage 9: Talavera de la Reina > La Covatilla, 200.8km
Top 3: 1. Ben King (Team Dimension Data) 2. Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) 3. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 3. Dylan Teuns 55. Alessandro De Marchi 60. Richie Porte