Race report

Marco Brenner climbs to impressive 5th place atop Peñas Blancas after day in break with Jonas Iversby Hvideberg

Vuelta a España

Today’s stage at the Vuelta saw the peloton faced with a 192 kilometre long stage from Salobreña to the mountain top finish of Peñas Blancas. With rolling terrain in the opening part of the stage it was a fierce start to the day with the team active in trying to make the breakaway, present in several failed moves. Eventually the proverbial elastic snapped after 45 kilometres of racing with Grand Tour debutants Marco Brenner and Jonas Iversby Hvideberg making the large 32 rider move for the team.

Although the gap was held steady at three minutes for a while, the bunch eventually relinquished control and it was clear the break would go on to fight for the stage win. Hvideberg did a brilliant job to help keep the pace high in the breakaway before positioning Brenner on the lower slopes of Peñas Blancas. Immediately the pace went up one notch further and the group was quickly whittled down to ten with Brenner still up there.

Riding within himself, Brenner moved passed others who dropped as they entered the closing four kilometres and the attacks started. Responding well, Brenner closed down several moves and found himself in what was now the front four. Eventually Carapaz made his stage-winning move while behind Brenner fought hard to try and take a podium place. He would ultimately be passed in the closing few hundred metres but still took a very impressive fifth place – his best career result to date.

Behind in the peloton, John Degenkolb and Joris Nieuwenhuis positioned Thymen Arensman for the finale – where we also had some action in the GC group. A dogged and determined ride from Arensman fight back to the GC group on several occasions before finishing alongside Almeida, after things split in the closing stages.

“Today the plan was for me to go in the break and if possible also be there together with either Joris on Jonas,” explained Brenner. “It was a really big fight today. I felt good at the start, it was quite undulating terrain in the first 30 kilometres and I kept trying but it didn’t go. Later on it was a bit flatter and I was there in the right move with Jonas. It was a really big team effort to bring me into the breakaway; everybody was there trying to help me, especially John. Then it was about saving as much as possible the whole day and Jonas did a really good job of keeping the pace up. On the final climb it was a hard pace straight from the bottom. I was on the limit a bit already and we were left with nine riders. It settled down and I recovered and felt quite good actually. Then the big attacks went and there were a lot of big guys in there like Carapaz and Kelderman. I just tried to follow for as long as possible and it was going well, I still believed that if it came down for a sprint then maybe I could even go for the win but then Carapaz put in one last big attack and went. I was fighting for third but in the last kilometre I just didn’t have the legs anymore. I think we can be really happy with the fifth place. It gives a lot of confidence and motivation for the next days. I think Thymen also did a good job out of the bunch, with the guys there positioning him well for the final. In general I think it was a really good day for the team today.”

Team DSM coach Matt Winston said: “Big breakaway went with 32 guys and it was good to have both Marco and Jonas in there. Jonas did a really good job to support Marco and bring him into the final climb as best as possible. Marco battled well there for a nice fifth place which I think is really good in his first Grand Tour. In the peloton Joris and John did a good job to bring Thymen into the last climb and he also did a solid final. He lost a little bit of time and slipped a few places on GC but confident that as the race goes on and develops then we will move back up.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 CARAPAZ Richard INEOS Grenadiers 4:38:26 100
2 KELDERMAN Wilco BORA - hansgrohe 0:09 40
3 SOLER Marc UAE Team Emirates 0:24 20
5 BRENNER Marco Team DSM 0:34 4
24 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM 8:14 -
54 HVIDEBERG Jonas Iversby Team DSM 17:34 -
105 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM 29:01 -
130 NIEUWENHUIS Joris Team DSM 29:14 -