Fruitless efforts for Movistar in Vuelta a Espana stage 6
Movistar Team spent the final third of the demanding stage six in La Vuelta, 160km from Monforte de Lemos to Luintra, pushing hard in search for a stage win with Alejandro Valverde.
However, a marvellous Simon Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) timed his efforts perfectly into the last ascent and made the final try by Dani Moreno fruitless, the Madrilian having to content himself with 6th at 21″ from the Briton.
Erviti, Sutherland, Herrada, Castroviejo, Fernández and a sensational José Joaquín Rojas relentlessly pursued solo leader Omar Fraile (DDD) and subsequent lone attacker Matthias Frank (IAM), who reached the last climb with 40″ at the 6km-to-go banner. As Daniwl Moreno started the Blues’ decisive effort, the race situation suggested him to go on his own, so other teams would feel forced to take the lead of an eventual pursuit.
Yates’ action, though, left Alejandro Valverde without a win yet the Spanish remains 2nd overall -28” behind Atapuma (BMC).
“Eventually we couldn’t win, even if we tried so hard. We took so much time pushing and at the end, the two of us, Nairo and myself, were a bit along, something logical when you put so much on the table.”, said Valverde after the stage.
“The plan was obviously contesting the stage with me, but once I saw Dani was pushing alone into the penultimate climb, 5km from the finish, I told him to attack and go after Frank and try to win the stage himself. Having only him to take command of the group until the end – it just wasn’t feasible, they would kill us with attacks. Yates, unfortunately, was stronger. It was a hard one. Nairo? He’s here to do what he’s thought to do, we couldn’t put him to work there. I had a good chance today, but… All in all, the team has shown again to be doing well, we got through another day in good overall position, and that’s what will count at the end”.
La Vuelta will leave Galicia on Friday, heading towards Puebla de Sanabria in Zamora (159km), before the mountains come back in full force on Saturday with the grueling La Camperona ascent in León.