stage 9

Vuelta a Espana: De La Cruz Of Etixx-QuickStep Takes Stage 9 And Overall Lead

A fast stage nine of the Vuelta a Espana saw Etixx-Quickstep rider David de la Cruz take the stage after a late attack from the front group on the final climb.

It was the team’s 3rd stage win of the race and moved the Spanish rider into the race lead, 22 seconds ahead of Colombia’s Nairo Quintana.

“It way my objective today but to be honest, I wasn’t thinking about the race leadership towards the end,” said de la Cruz after the stage.

“I was just thinking about winning the stage. It was very hard to ride with Devenyns because he was very hard to beat. I can’t believe that I won.”

Orica-Bike Exchange’s Esteban Chaves remains in the chase in 5th overall.

“It was a tough final 60 kilometres today,” said Chaves.

“Up and down all the way and the leaders were moving really fast, the team did really well to hold a good position as we went onto the final climb and the legs felt ok today.”

“We will see what happens tomorrow because it is going to be difficult stage with a hard finish but we are always positive and we will see how the legs are on the climbs.”

OBE Sport Director Neil Stephens said he is looking forward to more opportunities in the days to come.

“We lost a little bit of time yesterday,” said Stephens. “A little more than we expected and this morning we decided to hit reset and assess certain aspects. It was fairly clear that today there wasn’t going to be any major time gaps between the major contenders on the final climb and we knew where we needed to be and who we needed to be finishing with.

“This is a Grand Tour and there will always be fluctuations day to day but we are in the race and competing for three weeks and there is a certainly a lot of racing still to come.”




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