Team dsm-firmenich fought hard for the breakaway of the 16th stage of La Vuelta with Max Poole and Romain Bardet showing themselves in the breakaway.
After Vuelta’s second rest day on Monday, the peloton rolled out from Liencres Playa for stage 16 on a mostly flat parcours, knowing a punchy kicker awaited them in the deep finale.
A fast and furious start saw multiple attacks in the bunch with Team dsm-firmenich ensuring they were present in any dangerous move. Eventually, after almost 10 kilometres of action a group of around ten riders went clear, with Romain Bardet and Max Poole riding strongly to make the early split. The gap – however – hovered only between fifteen and forty seconds, as several teams who missed the break chased them down. Being brought back after forty kilometres, the game started all over again. Bardet tried his luck another time, but a break with Poole eventually managed to go clear. Their lead however was kept on a tight leash by GC teams, not getting more than a one-and-a-half-minute advantage over the peloton.
Despite Poole riding strongly, the break’s advantage decreased slowly and was caught as the race came into the final ten kilometres. With Vingegaard taking the win ahead, Poole joined the rest of the team, still having to fight the stinging gradients on the run to the line after which all crossed the line safely.