La Vuelta a Espana #6: Steve Cummings just misses another grand tour stage win


Steve Cummings lit up the 6th stage of the Vuelta a Espana, attacking from the main break of the day only to be caught with 3km to go. Steve would win the most aggressive rider of the day prize.

The stage win would go to the young Esteban Chaves (Orica-Greenedge) once again as he attacked from the peloton just before the 3km to go banner, bridging and passing Stevo on the final climb to the line. Daniel Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) was 2nd with Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) in 3rd.

The early part of the stage was fast and furious with the break taking 70km to finally form. With temperatures in the upper 30’s today, it was a tough day. Steve though, was made for these tough days and when he and his 4 breakaway mates got clear they muscled out a 4 minute lead.

Movistar kept close tabs on the break as they were a bit weary of the possible GC threat the riders in the break posed to their leaders. With 12km to go the gap was down to 30” for the leaders, this is where Stevo threw caution to wind and attacked solo.

The gap quickly went back up to 55” as Steve laid down the power. It was not to be though as the tough finale saw the GC rider quickly reel our British star in. It was not all over for our African team though as Louis Meintjes was brought to a great position by his teammates and managed to finish the stage with the favourites group in 18th place. This ensured Louis held on to a top 20 position overall.

Steve Cummings – Rider
It was hot out there but it was good. The start was quite aggressive and the breakaway took a long time to go as there was a lot of interest in making the break. We did well, everyone was covering the moves and eventually it went after about 60 or 70 kilometers. It was difficult because Gautier was up 3 minutes on GC so we didn’t really get the advantage we needed. For me it was then just a question of eating and drinking and hoping we would be allowed a bit more leeway but we didn’t really get enough. In the final I gave it a try, hoping to catch them napping or that there was a bit of disorganised chaos behind but it was still good. We can try again in a few days’ time.

Jean-Pierre Heynderickx – Sport Director
It was a good stage for us. We tried to get into the break and it took over 60km’s for 5 strong riders to go off the front. It was a good point that Steve was there. In our meeting we wanted Steve there at that moment and he was. It was unfortunate that Gautier was there so the GC teams kept it under control at 4 minutes. If this wasn’t the case and they got 10 minutes then it would have been a great opportunity for the win. The team was great, they looked after Louis and brought him to a good position at all the important points. He started the climb in a good position and was able to follow the leaders. I must say that all the boys did a great job, everyone came to the car to fetch bottles for Louis so it was good job.

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