Vuelta 2018: Stage 16 – Dennis takes TT stage, Yates holds red

Three summit finishes and a rest day later, Stage 16 of Vuelta 2018 was a lumpy 32km ITT. Would the efforts of the weekend and the unpredictability of form after a rest day separate Simon Yates from the red jersey? Although Rohan Dennis‘s scorching ride for the stage victory (his second this Vuelta) wasn’t a surprise, some of the other times certainly were …

Rider of the Race

With a winning margin of 50sec, BMC’s Rohan Dennis looks on track for making a serious challenge for the ITT rainbow stripes in a few weeks. Almost as soon as he came off the podium, he left the Vuelta – which with some serious Andorran mountain stages coming up, you can’t really blame him. But it means he isn’t my Rider of the Race.

That goes to Steven Kruijswijk. The JumboBee has continued to impress this Vuelta and today was no exception. Finishing fourth on the stage, 51sec back from Dennis, the Dutch rider came in 37sec ahead of Simon Yates, 45sec ahead of Alejandro Valverde and 1.19 ahead of Nairo Quintana. Which at the end of the day, puts him in third place, 23sec ahead of Quintana and just 19sec behind Valverde. It’s going to be an exciting week!

Don’t turn your back on a QuickStepper

Alejandro Valverde is in second on GC, 33sec behind Yates. Nairo Quintana is fourth, 1.15 behind Yates. Quick-Stepper Enric Mas did an amazing TT today and is breathing down Quintana’s neck, just 15sec behind the Colombian – he even said after the stage that he wasn’t looking for a podium spot, he was going for the win (never underestimate a QuickStepper…). So will Quintana ride in the service of Valverde, to ensure the team of a podium place? We shall see

Stage results

1 Rohan Dennis (BMC) 37:57

2 Joey Rosskopf (BMC) +0:50

3 Jonathan Castroviejo (Sky) same time

4 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) +0:51

5 Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) same time

GC standings

1 Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) 64:52:58

2 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0:33

3 Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNL-Jumbo) +0:52

4 Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +1:15

5 Enric Mas (Quick-Step Floors) +1:30

6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +1.34

7 Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) + 2:53

8 Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) +3:04

9 Rigoberto Uran (EF-Drapac) +3:15

10 Tony Gallopin (Ag2r La Mondiale) +4:43

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey: Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott)

Points jersey: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Climber’s jersey: Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis)

Combined jersey: Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

Team classification: Movistar

Official Vuelta website is here;  Full stage review from cyclingnews

Header image: ©GETTY/AFP/Ander Gillenea 

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