De La Cruz third in Vuelta break

12 Sep 2018

De La Cruz third in Vuelta break

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David de la Cruz put in a gutsy ride in the stage 17 breakaway to finish third atop the Alto del Balcon de Bizkaia at the Vuelta a Espana.

The Spaniard was joined by teammate Jonathan Castroviejo in a 26-man move which held on to the finish to battle it out for victory. With Castroviejo leading him on to the climb, De La Cruz set his own tempo on the early slopes before pushing up to the front of the group through a wall of passionate Basque fans.
 
A big acceleration from Rusty Woods (EF Education First-Drapac) was enough to propel the Canadian to victory, with De La Cruz crossing the line 10 seconds later, just behind second-placed Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing).
 
With his work done ahead of the final first category climb, Castroviejo came home 13th at the line, 1:43 ahead of the first general classification contenders.
 
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) clawed back eight seconds on race leader Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), with the Brit’s advantage now trimmed to 25 seconds.
 
A strong day out in the breakaway saw De La Cruz move up three places on the general classification, returning back to 13th overall.
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After the stage De La Cruz reflected on a tough day in the break, with strong legs seeing him come up just short.

He told TeamSky.com: "The main goal for us was to make the breakaway, and once we were there to fight for the victory. That's what we did, although the final didn't play out as we hoped. On the final climb I just tried to push hard to drop the other riders. I put in one final pull and Woods came over with me. He was really strong. I tried to do my best but in the final 500 metres he was the strongest. I just have to say congrats to him.

"It was a pity because I was really looking to go into the break and fight for this victory. Racing in the Basque Country is something I really like and right from the beginning of the stage I had a lot of supporters there. I really wanted to do well. We weren't able to take the victory but the legs were good. You can see for example that the favourites group didn't go faster than us. That shows we were going well and there are still two opportunities to come. Let's see if I can go better!"

Stage 17 result:
 
1. Michael Woods (EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale) 4:09:48
2. Dylan Teuns (BMC Racing) +5”
3. David de la Cruz (Team Sky) +10”
4. Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe) +13”
5. Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin) +38”
 
Overall Standings:
 
1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 69:05:34
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +25”
3. Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) +1’22”
4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +1’36”
5. Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) +1’48”
13. David de la Cruz (Team Sky) +9’19”

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