Simon Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) won stage 6 of the Vuelta a Espana with a late solo escape. Lluis Leon Sanchez (Astana) came home in 2nd and Fabio Feline (Trek-Segafredo) completed the stage podium. Darwin Atapuma (BMC Racing) retained the overall race leader’s jersey.
The 6th stage of the Vuelta a Espana took riders from Monforte de Lemos to Luintra Ribera Sacra over an undulating 163km course. Once again the breakaway had a good chance to decide today’s stage, this resulted in another fast start as teams battled to have representation in the early move. After 50km of racing eleven riders got away from the main pack and Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had Omar Fraile present upfront.
BMC Racing was hesitant to let the gap go out too far and so 2’30” was all the break had to play with. Orica-BikeExchange decided to up the tempo in the peloton with 60km to go which saw the gap plummet to just under 1’00”. Fraile, not wanting to waste a stage effort in the lead, threw caution to the wind and attacked solo, 55km from home.
Our Basque rider did well to lead over the only category 2 climb of the stage but there were a number of uncategorized climbs leading into the finishing town still to come. Despite opening the gap back up to 2’30”, Fraile was chased down by 3 of the original escapees with 20km to go. A reduced peloton was not far behind either though and in the end, Yates countered an attack by Dani Moreno (Movistar) in the final 4km which saw him take the lead and solo to a good win.
Kristian Sbaragli was our best placed rider on the stage. Our Italian fast man showed some good climbing legs, only being distanced in the final 5km of today’s stage. Unfortunately, Igor Anton also lost time today after suffering with stomach issues but Fraile still gave our African Team reason to smile, he was awarded the most combative prize of the day.
Omar Fraile – Rider
It was a day for a breakaway and we wanted to be part of that. It was not easy to get into it though, as the pace at the beginning of the stage was very high. In the first climb the attack finally went, but with guys like Alberto Losada (Katusha) in there, who was not so far down on GC, the peloton didn’t allow for a big gap. So I spoke with our DS Alex Sans Vega, if it’d be okay to attack again and so I went on the only categorized climb of the day. I felt good and saw a chance to arrive solo. I got a gap, but in the end the other guys came back. That’s racing, I guess, but I’ll try again.