Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka showed its strength in the mountains on stage 3 of Vuelta a Burgos as Igor Antón and Merhawi Kudus both finished in Top10. Mikel Landa (Team Sky) took the win.
Early on the stage, a break of 12 riders got away. Once again, Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka was represented in the front group as Jacques Janse van Rensburg made the cut. The former South African champion did well to get involved in the intermediate sprints. He took eight points and thereby helped his teammate Ben King keep the lead in the competition.
As the riders took on the mountainous second part of the stage, the break began to split up, leaving just one rider at the front. The peloton, led by Team Sky, kept a very high pace and it didn’t take long before it all came back together as the riders started on the final climb. The 7.8 km towards the top of Picón Blanco had average gradient of nearly 10 %, meaning only the very best climbers in the race had a chance to fight for glory.
Ultimately, Landa turned out to be the strongest rider on the steep gradients as he soloed to victory and increased his overall lead with only two stages remaining. Antón had a very powerful finish and crossed the line in sixth place, while Kudus finished just a few seconds later as number seven. Thanks to Janse van Rensburg’s effort in the breakaway, King had no problems keeping the blue jersey for another day.
“Today was an important test for me. I have been training hard and I had good feelings in my legs. I knew my condition was good but I needed to show it as well. The last climb was super hard and very steep. Landa was incredible once again. It was impossible to do anything against him but I didn’t finish far off. I’m really happy with my result today”.