Today’s largely downhill to the coast sprint stage was never going to match yesterday’s for excitement. Jempy Drucker took a tow on Gianni Meersman‘s wheel and timed his sprint for the line to perfection. He finished a bike length ahead of runner-up Rudiger Selig and third-placed Nikias Arndt. The GC contenders all rolled in together, leaving Nairo Quintana still looking good in the red leader’s jersey.
Rider of the race
Here at VeloVoices we love it when a rider like BMC’s Jempy Drucker takes his first Grand and WorldTour victory but, as @irishpeloton was quick to remind us, everyone in today’s top ten was in yesterday’s bumper grupetto, which rolled in some 53 minutes down, well outside the cut-off. Exceptionally they were allowed to continue. Not everyone was in favour of this decision.
Consequently, my Rider of the Race is Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis) from today’s six-man break and one of only two in the break – the other was Cannondale’s Davide Villella – who finished within yesterday’s time-cut.
Mate took the honours over Villella on account of the additional effort he made (in vain) to stay away. Doing a Dan Craven™, Mate had asked his followers on Twitter whether or not he should try and get in today’s break. Of course, it was a yes … and he obliged …
The 32-year-old Madrileno has ridden for Cofidis since 2011, the year of his last victory (stage 4 in the Tour of Midi Pyrenees) and has only five victories in his 12-year professional career, though his palmares holds plenty of podium places. A habitué of breakaways, victory today would have been the cherry on the icing for him. I hope our award and being adjudged Most Combative for the second time in this Vuelta (along with stage 10) go some way to compensating him for today’s disappointment!
1 Jempy Drucker (BMC) 3:21:18
2 Rudiger Selig (Bora-Argon 18) same time
3 Nikias Arndt (Giant-Shimano) s/t
4 Gianni Meersman (Etixx-Quick Step) s/t
5 Lorenzo Manzin (FDJ) s/t
1 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 64:57:27
2 Chris Froome(SKY) +3:37
3 Esteban Chaves (ORICA-BikeExchange) +3:57
4 Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) +4:02
5 Simon Yates (ORICA-BikeExchange) +5:07
Points leader: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
King of the Mountains leader: Kenny Elissonde (FDJ)
Combined classification leader: Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
Team classification leader: BMC
Stage’s Most Combative: Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis)
For full stage review: Cycling News
Header image :Drucker wins stage 16 ©GETTY/Tim de Waele