Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural) won the 5th and final stage of the Vuelta a Burgos ahead of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) and Ben Hermans (BMC Racing). Contador won the Vuelta a Burgos overall.
The 5th stage of the Vuelta a Burgos, deemed the Queen stage with 7 categorised climbs, saw another fine performance from Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka. Starting in Caleruega, there were a number of early attacks but it took quite some time before 7 riders managed to put some daylight between themselves and the peloton. Omar Fraile was our man represented in the move.
After teammate Jacques Janse van Rensburg pulled on the King of the Mountains jersey yesterday, Fraile take it upon himself to challenge for the points at the top of each of today’s Mountain sprints. Our Basque rider showed his form is heading in the right direction just ahead of the Vuelta a Espana as he took most of the points on offer today. On the 3rd last climb of the day, Fraile attacked his breakaway mates as the peloton had them within sight. He was joined by three new riders from the peloton and the gap slowly started to increase again.
Fraile took maximum points at the top of the category 1 climb with 30km to go, before eventually surrendering to the Team Sky led peloton. With just the final 2 climbs to go, the race was brought all back together by a peloton that contained no more than 50 riders. Our African Team had Igor Anton and Merhawi Kudus still present.
Movistar kept things in check until the final climb started with 7km to go. An attack by Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx-Quickstep) on the lower slopes blew the race to pieces and just 8 riders remained at the head of proceedings, Igor Anton included. Pardilla was the next to attack 4km from the line and he would make his move count. None of the leaders were able to follow Pardilla as he opened up a good lead of 50 seconds.
Pardilla took a good win and Anton went on to cross the line in 5th place for our African Team. In the overall standings, Anton’s strong ride saw him jump up to finish in 9th position overall with Contador topping the standings. Fraile had accumulated enough points during the stage to ensure he won the King of the Mountains competition overall.
Igor Anton – Rider
I think it was my 8th time racing this difficult final stage. For me, it is always an important test before the Vuelta. The team were great today, looking after me all stage and helping me to conserve my energy for the finale. I am grateful for the work they did for me and it gives me great confidence to go to the Vuelta a Espana with such strong guys. Pardilla and Contador were going really fast on the last climb but I didn’t finish all that far off them. I put in a good effort today and got a result I am happy with.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
We knew it would be really difficult to get in the break today, it took 60km’s until the break finally went ahead. Omar was there for us and the goal was to try and win the mountain classification. He got some good points before the race reached the final climb which allowed him to win the jersey. Our 2 guys for the final were Merhawi and Igor. They were able to stay with the favourites until the final and Igor went on to get 5th on the stage and also a top 10 on GC, which is a good result. Merhawi was a bit further back but he finished 2nd in the u23 category which was also good. In all it was a good race for our team with a great group of guys and it was excellent preparation for the Vuelta. The team rode well all week, showed good unity and we can head to the Vuelta with confidence.