Race report

Thymen Arensman climbs to queen stage success at the Vuelta for Team DSM

Vuelta a España

The queen stage of the race lay ahead of the peloton this afternoon as they rolled out of Martos this afternoon, faced with roughly 4000 metres of climbing and an altitude finish at 2500 metres above sea level in Sierra Nevada. It was an aggressive start to the stage as attacks peppered the front of the peloton, with Joris Nieuwenhuis and Thymen Arensman both attentive and following any large groups.

Eventually after 30 kilometres a move of around 30 riders went clear, which Arensman had managed to infiltrate for the team. With the peloton fanning across the road their gap expanded and reached roughly six minutes at one point but a few other teams decided that it was growing too large and upped the pace, immediately shredding the gap down to four minutes.

As the climbs came and went, the pace went up and down but as the race hit the bottom of what was a 22 kilometre ascent to the line the gap stood at three minutes and 30 seconds, where Soler immediately went on the attack. Riding within himself, Arensman set tempo alongside the group of chasers and made it over the steeper slopes and onto the “easier” six and seven percent gradients – where he then set off in pursuit of Soler inside nine kilometres to go. Making the catch and going immediately past him, Arensman dug as deep as possible as he pushed on up the mountain and the altitude increased.

As the final kilometres ticked by, Arensman remained steady and held the gap to those behind him and as he passed under the flamme rouge it still remained at around one minute and 30 seconds. Giving everything to the line with one eye on moving up the GC classification, Arensman raised his arms aloft atop Sierra Nevada once across the finish – celebrating a brilliant win for himself and Team DSM.

“It’s unbelievable to win here on the queen stage atop Sierra Nevada,” expressed a jubilant Arensman. “In the beginning it was really hard and we knew it would be tough on the smaller roads like yesterday. The team was really committed to be in the front. Joris did a really good job, he was constantly with me in the front and I was just following the moves. It was a really hard pace so the break went by force and I made it in, which was perfect as we wanted to be in if it was a bigger group as it was a good day to be in the break. Compared to yesterday I felt like I was suffering on the steeper parts but in the end it turned out the others were suffering even more. I know that I like long efforts so the finish climb really suited us. When I got the gap over the chasing group and then to Soler, Matt [Winston, Team DSM coach] was just shouting in the radio giving me encouragement and motivation and I just went all-in. To then gain time on the GC guys behind is amazing. I’m just really happy with the victory.”

Team DSM coach Matt Winston added: “It was nice to get the win today with Thymen. We said we wanted to find the right move where we could really press on and go for a nice victory and improve our GC result – and that’s exactly what we did today. We got into a really strong group. When the group is big enough and you can be in there, then that’s perfect and Thymen rode a really good race. When the rest of the break fell apart at the end, the time Thymen has spent with the team at altitude this year really paid off and he was able to solo to victory. It was a really, really good ride from Thymen. I’m happy with how the day has went and we have made a really nice step.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM 4:17:17 100
2 MAS Enric Movistar Team 1:23 40
3 LÓPEZ Miguel Ángel Astana Qazaqstan Team 1:25 20
85 HVIDEBERG Jonas Iversby Team DSM 26:16 -
103 NIEUWENHUIS Joris Team DSM 32:22 -
129 DEGENKOLB John Team DSM 35:38 -
131 BRENNER Marco Team DSM ,, -