David De la Cruz (Etixx-Quickstep) won stage 9 of the Vuelta a Espana and also took the lead in the overall general classification. 2nd on the stage went to Dries Devenys (IAM Cycling) and Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Drapac) came home in 3rd place.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka did not have the best of day’s as our African Team had to start today’s stage without Igor Anton. Anton had been ill for the last 3 days and he was battling to keep down any fluids. Our Basque rider tried to battle through but with the excessive heat experienced in the opening week of La Vuelta, Anton’s health was only deteriorating day by day.
Without our experienced climber, our African Team looked to find the break of the day from the start and our boys were very active from the gun. A number of teams wanted to make the break today as once again, it was all but certain that Movistar would let the escape decide the stage. Unfortunately, despite our team’s best efforts, 12 riders rode away from the peloton without a Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka rider present and that was the stage.
De la Cruz showed he was the strongest from the break and by crossing the line nearly 3’00” ahead of the GC contenders, the Spaniard also moved into the overall lead on the general classification. Omar Fraile was our best placed rider on the day, placing 33rd and finishing among all the main GC contenders. Our 7 other African Team riders all made it to the finish without any real hassle either.
Alex Sans Vega – Sport Director
It obviously wasn’t a good day for us because Igor Anton had to go home. He was really trying to stay in the race the last three days’ but his health got worse last night. It is a shame, he was ready for this race and we will miss him. The stage also didn’t go so well. We missed the break and we knew from the beginning that the winner will come from the break, like yesterday. It was our priority to be represented in the front but it did not happen. We just need to stay focused on the next stages.