The last day over the climbs at the Vuelta saw a large breakaway go clear after a fierce start, with Romain Bardet battling to ninth place in the finale; yet another top ten result for Team dsm-firmenich.
Rolling out from Manzanares El Real on Saturday afternoon, over 4000 metres of altitude gain spread across 207 kilometres of racing awaited the peloton. As expected it was an explosive start to the day with 80 percent of the peloton looking to make the break. Carrying some wounds from yesterday’s unfortunate crash, the Team dsm-firmenich squad covered as many moves as was possible, before Bardet eventually made it into the group of 31 that went clear.
With the pace going out of the peloton, it was soon clear that the large breakaway would go on to fight it out for the win. Yet, despite a few probing attacks at around 60 kilometres to go; the climbs weren’t sharp enough to create separation and it became a race of attrition, with riders slowly dropping out from the group. Around 20 riders, included Bardet, made their way onto the last climb where there were steep ramps and strong attacks were made. Bardet gave his all and tried to follow but just missed the split over the top, where the gap then quickly expanded. Coming home in the chasing group, he got up to sprint for ninth place; taking another good result for the team at the Vuelta.