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Vuelta a Espana

Jan Bakelants 11th on top of Peñas Blancas

Jan Bakelants represented Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux two times in the breakaway during this Vuelta before adding another day in the front in this twelfth stage, which finished on top of Peñas Blancas.

The Belgian rider joined a leading group of 32 riders, who managed to build a large advantage along the Costa del Sol. They started the final climb, one of the longest of this Vuelta (19.8km at 7%), with a ten minute gap which was largely enough for them to battle for the stage win. Bakelants followed the best climbers during more than half of the climb, finishing in eleventh place.

In the peloton with the GC favorites, Louis Meintjes could benefit from the support of Rein Taaramäe from the bottom to the top, enabling him to stay in the top fifteen of the provisional classification. With ten days to go to Madrid, the Belgian World Team has now four riders in the top 30 of the classification and is now fifth in the team classification.

« The first week of the Vuelta was very intense and this is something you can notice in the peloton. After a rather calm day yesterday, a large breakaway received a big bonus today. Several riders in this leading group passed me in the provisional classification, so I lost three positions. On the final climb I mainly focused on my own effort, trying to get the best out of it without exploding. Rein Taaramäe stayed by my side the whole time. He is impressive on the climbs, I'm convinced that he can repeat his performance of Colláu Fancuaya, or maybe even win like I did last Sunday. I think that today's scenario will be produced several times in the next ten days, so I hope that Rein can join the breakaway on Saturday or on Sunday, the next two mountain top finishes. »


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