Race report

Alberto Dainese 8th after all-in team effort at Vuelta

Vuelta a España

After yesterday’s stage in the mountains, the peloton were faced with a traditional hilly final-week stage at the Vuelta. A flat opening section led into back-to-back tricky climbs for an intense opening 100 kilometres before a flatter, albeit still hilly, finale.

As expected, it was a fierce battle to make the early breakaway with the team well represented in the several fights, with Nico Denz riding strongly to make it into an 18 rider group that went clear. However, with some other teams pacing in the peloton and the Green Jersey dropped, the gap only increased to around two minutes where it held steady. The team then came to the head of the peloton taking over the pace setting with some great riding, drastically reducing the break’s advantage with a view of setting up Alberto Dainese for the finish, while ahead Denz marked out the breakaway excellently. As a result, the gap had fallen to 50 seconds with around 30 kilometres to go, where Denz then sat up and returned to the bunch to help in the efforts.

The remnants of the breakaway group split and seven riders pushed on out front and after putting up a resilient effort, they held onto a 30 second lead as the race entered the last ten kilometres. Upon catching their breath in the peloton, the team returned to the front and began to set tempo alongside a few other sprint teams, setting up a nervous and nail biting finale. However, despite the team’s best efforts, the breakaway held on to fight for the stage win, with Dainese winning the sprint from the group behind to take eighth place at the finish.

Alberto said: “We had Nico up at the front in the breakaway of 18 riders, but we thought our chances were better to try to bring things back for a sprint. The guys did an insane job to control the breakaway and 10 guys were dropped from the front group, with Nico staying up there before coming back to help in the final. Other teams also started to help us chase but in the end it didn’t come back together how we had hoped. I won the bunch sprint from behind the break which is for sure disappointing but we can be so proud of how we rode today. I won’t forget this day; the teamwork and commitment was amazing and we can be really proud of that.”

“I made it into the breakaway and I was alone in there with more than 20 guys,” expressed Denz. “When the break then got smaller we decided to go with Alberto in the sprint. In the peloton the guys did a massive job there to reduce the gap and then keep it close. In the end we unfortunately didn’t make it and the seven guys stayed away, but we rode really brilliantly together again today.”

Team DSM coach Matt Winston added: “When the breakaway went it was a big move and we had Nico in there but he was also outnumbered by quite a few guys. Alberto made it over the climbs in really good shape and we committed for him. The guys showed really good teamwork out there for us to bring it almost all back together. It didn’t quite come off for us this time but the team commitment was really there; we went for the plan and went in for it 100 percent.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 CORT Magnus EF Education - Nippo 4:24:54 100
2 OLIVEIRA Rui UAE-Team Emirates ,, 40
3 SIMMONS Quinn Trek - Segafredo ,, 20
8 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM 0:18 -
80 DENZ Nico Team DSM ,, -
91 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM 1:19 -
115 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM 4:02 -
116 HAGA Chad Team DSM ,, -
117 STORER Michael Team DSM ,, -
120 BARDET Romain Team DSM 5:59 -
121 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 10:56 -