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Vuelta a Espana

Jan Bakelants: “I thought about the red jersey”

The unprecedented climb Pico Jano welcomed the first mountain top finish of this Vuelta, at the end of the sixth stage in horrible weather conditions. After the start in Bilbao, the peloton headed towards Cantabria via the Puerto de Asilas and the Collada de Brenes.

Jan Bakelants, who already rode a day in the front in stage three, was again one of the ten escapees. The rider from Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux was the best placed rider with a disadvantage of a little more than five minutes on the race leader. Bakelants was virtually in the lead of the Vuelta for a long time, until the peloton accelerated towards the Collada de Brenes.

Bakelants was caught on top of this penultimate climb and then sacrificed for Louis Meintjes and Domenico Pozzovivo, who followed the group with all GC favorites. The Italian and South-African rider covered the final climb together, finishing 24th and 27th respectively.

« We were convinced that the breakaway had a chance to make it to the finish today. I managed to join an interesting leading group and initially we worked well together. I could even start thinking about the red jersey. But behind, the peloton accelerated in the approach of each climb and less riders were willing to pull in the leading group. It started raining heavily, but luckily we didn’t have to descend in heavy fog. Also our Continental tires were very helpful. I continued at a high rhythm on the Collada de Brenes, until I heard that the favorites accelerated behind me. I chose to wait for our GC leaders, so after the descent I could make sure that Louis Meintjes and Domenico Pozzovivo started the final climb in the slipstream of Primoz Roglic. »


1.Jay VineAlpecin Deceuninck4:38:00
2.Remco EvenepoelQuickstep Alpha Vinyl+0:15
3.Enric MasMovistar+0:16
24.+2:5027.LOUIS MEINTJESIntermarché-Circus-Wanty+3:17LOUIS MEINTJES41.+6:32

General Classification


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