Cycling | 31 augustus 2016
Martijn Keizer breaks away in the Vuelta
Martijn Keizer shot free in a large escape group to have a chance at victory in the 11th stage of the Vuelta a España today in northern Spain. It came to nothing because at five kilometres out on the Peña Cabarga summit finish, the stars caught the break and Chris Froome (SKY) took the victory. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) remains the leader.
Tough not a climber, Keizer considered himself to have a chance in the 186-kilometre stage. "If you are in a position for a stage win, the race opens up. So perhaps you can break away with a small group without other climbers and save enough to hold them off."
"The plan in a stage like today's is to be in the breakaway,” Sports Director Addy Engels. “With so many attacks, it is almost a lottery, so it is good that we succeeded to get a rider in the break.” After covering 50 kilometres in the first hour, a group of 23 went free with Keizer. “The whole team fought to get in the break, and this time it was my luck,” Keizer said.
“Soon we had more than five minutes and that motivated us. We worked well together to stay in the front, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out. When Tinkoff started the chase the gap shrank and left us to hope that our advantage at the foot of the climb would be enough.”
Tomorrow, the Vuelta covers 193 kilometres to Bilbao. Engels knows that it will be important to be in the breakaway again. "There is a difficult climb in the final loop, which will be covered twice. The attack group can definitely stay away until the end. So we must have someone in it."