Vuelta a España (st. 6)
Movistar Team gives everything for victory in Cazorla, where Valverde finishes in 5th place after another winning attack by Chaves (OGE). Quintana stays at the front (9th)
The Movistar Team's huge efforts into the final phase of a really fast stage six in the Vuelta a España -over 200km from Córdoba to the Cat-3 Alto de Cazorla- were without success as another attack rewarded the victory to Colombian Esteban Chaves (OGE), back in the lead as the main GC favourites remained together in yet another demanding finish.
Rory Sutherland took back -together with some Giant-Alpecin riders- most of the gap of a break that formed up well after 70km, and whose last survivor Stephen Cummings (MTN) was neutralized on the foot of the last ascent, after defying the peloton with a strong gallop that took him almost one minute away with only 8km left. Behind, local hero Javi Moreno, Ventoso, Erviti, Rojas, Visconti and Amador hit the front to make their leaders' effort easier, before Chaves anticipated their moves from a peloton that even saw Nairo Quintana pushing briefly to reduce the gaps.
Eventually, Alejandro Valverde had to stay content with 5th place, 11" behind the winner, as Quintana finished 9th. Both stay in fifth and ninth overall as the first real gaps could establish tomorrow with the first mountain stage of the race in Capileira (Cat-1), following a 191km journey from Jódar.
Alejandro Valverde: “That attack from the very bottom, sticking until the finish line – this shows Chaves is quite a serious contender; there's still a long way to go in this Vuelta, but for me, this is someone to take into account. The climb was neither longer nor harder and I expected: we knew it had some steeper parts and sections to rest up a bit, and gaps didn't neccessarily have to be big here. I'm feeling well, the team is doing great and we hope to stay like this tomorrow, with some more serious mountains at the end."
Nairo Quintana: “We conceded a few seconds, but I don't think they will be significant at the end of the race. My overview at the end of these opening six days is good: these weren't stages really suiting me, but I defended myself well and hope to keep this line day by day. I'm really happy about Chaves, who got back into the lead – this is great news for all Colombians. All in all, the team is showing up, taking chances and ready to work well, and I rely on them to climb up the standings.”