La Vuelta a España Stage 6: Brambilla 31st on Punchy Finale, Terpstra Enters Breakaway
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Gianluca Brambilla finished 31st on a Category 3 finish of 200.3km La Vuelta a España Stage 6 on Thursday, which was won by solo attacking Johan Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE).
Chaves went over the top of Stephen Cummings (MTN Qhubeka), the lone rider remaining out of the six-rider breakaway, who came to almost a complete standstill on the steep sections of the final climb at 2km to go. Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) tried to bridge to Chaves, but failed as Dan Martin (Cannondale-Garmin) eventually joined him, and beat him to the line for 2nd place. Brambilla finished 29" down on Chaves. The peloton splintered into pieces on the final climb, leaving riders to finish in small groups.
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Niki Terpstra was part of the original breakaway. The peloton was riding at a fast pace for much of the stage, not giving the breakaway much time to work with before the final climb. Miguel Angel Rubiano (Team Colombia) saw the advantage dwindling and tried to attack late in the race, but Cummings went over the top of him with 11.5km remaining. Terpstra initially tried to chase down Cummings, but was eventually caught by the field.
David De La Cruz did not start the stage for Etixx - Quick-Step. For more information, click here.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to 191.1km Stage 7, from Jódar to La Alpujarra, on Friday. Stage 7 is another up-and-down profile, including another uphill finish. Category 1 Alto de Capileira - La Alpujarra (18.7km) will likely split up the peloton once again, with a roughly 5.1% average gradient, and a max ramp of 14 percent gradient near the top of the climb.
"Before this stage I pointed this stage out, because I thought this could be one for the breakaway to stay away," Terpstra said. "Other riders thought the same thing and wanted to be in the break, so it was a hard time at the start. So, only after 57 kilometers did we finally get a group up the road. But it turned out to be not the greatest collective, as one rider was at 3 minutes down in the classification. I knew by then it would probably be for nothing. But it was still good to be in front and try your best. You never know what can happen. We have to keep trying and keep pushing in the next days."