Teuns Narrowly Misses Vuelta a España Stage Win After Strong Day of Teamwork12. September 2018, Balcón de Bizkaia (ESP) — Road Team
Dylan Teuns narrowly missed out on the stage win on Vuelta a España stage 17 after a show of strength from BMC Racing Team saw him joined at the front of the race by Alessandro De Marchi with the pair finishing second and sixth respectively following another tough summit finish.
An aggressive start to stage 17 saw the battle to make the breakaway start from kilometer zero and continue onto the slopes of the first of six categorized climbs, the category three Alto de la Arboleda, which started after just 10 kilometers, of the 157-kilometer course.
In the last section of the 6.7-kilometer long ascent, the relentless pace saw a group, over 20 riders strong, go clear with both Teuns and De Marchi making it into the move that had opened up a two-minute lead after 30 kilometers of racing.
The breakaway's advantage continued to rise and it was eventually sitting at over seven minutes inside 100 kilometers to go with the rest of the day's categorized climbing still to come.
Teuns and De Marchi were helping to drive the tempo over the next four climbs before the breakaway hit the bottom of the brutal ascent to the finish line, the Alto del Balcón de Bizkaia, all together and ready to battle for the day's honors.
On the steep slopes of the final 7.3-kilometer long climb, which had a gradient at one point of over 23%, De Marchi was setting a hard pace in support of Teuns, who was once again motivated to go for the stage win after already securing four top five finishes in Spain.
The breakaway soon began to split under the pressure and eventually a select group of five riders, including Teuns, was drawn out at the front of the race and it was ultimately from this group that the winner would be decided.
Teuns, as he has done on multiple occasions over the past two and a half weeks, showed his grit and determination in the final kilometers of the day, laying it all out on the road before sprinting to a close second behind Michael Woods (EF Education First - Drapac p/b Cannondale).
After a strong display of teamwork from De Marchi, he was able to continue riding his own tempo as the race unfolded ahead of him to cross the line sixth, 44 seconds behind Woods.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
"Today was one of the stages in this last week that I was targeting and I made it into a good breakaway so I achieved the first goal of the day. It was a good group and I knew who the strongest guys in the breakaway were. It was no different to the other breakaways I have been in really with Majka, De Gendt and Mollema all there. It was good to have a lot of strong guys in there and for me, personally, it was good to have De Marchi with me as we were able to control the other guys a little more."
"We knew that the final climb would be the key point of the stage and De Marchi brought me to the bottom in a good position before setting a perfect tempo for me. I didn't need to watch the other guys from the back of the group because he was setting a really good pace until the last steep 3.5 kilometers."
"From there, I just had to manage the stronger guys. I knew not to go from too far out because I saw the other day, when I was third, that it was hard to go early. So, I followed the other guys and in the end, I made my final attack maybe a little too early as Woods came back and then attacked me. I had to leave a little gap in the final and then I went all out for the sprint and I came really close but unfortunately just not close enough."
Alessandro De Marchi:
"Today was the perfect day for the breakaway. The group was quite big and it looked like it could be difficult to stay together so, I was surprised when we arrived at the bottom of the last climb practically all together. For sure, a steep climb like this was more suited to Dylan so, we decided to make a good pace from the bottom to the start of the steepest section. It was really all about the legs from there and I think Dylan played his cards really well but there was just one stronger guy out there today."
"We did our best and I was quite happy because after doing my job for Dylan, I was also able to do a good final climb. It's a good feeling to have been able to do that and I am maybe more happy about that than my personal result on the stage."
Vuelta a España
Stage 17: Getxo > Balcón de Bizkaia, 157km
Top 3: 1. Michael Woods (EF Education First - Drapac p/b Cannondale) 2. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing Team) 3. David De La Cruz (Team Sky)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 2. Dylan Teuns 6. Alessandro De Marchi 99. Nicolas Roche