After a select group formed on the day’s challenging first category climb, Wilco Kelderman and Sam Oomen remained in contention later finishing the day alongside other GC favourites.
It was a fast and furious start to the tenth stage of the Vuelta a España with a flurry of attacks flying off the front of the pack as riders tried to get into the day’s breakaway. The peloton let no rider go clear until 90 kilometres of racing had been covered, when a group of 18 riders quickly opened up a five minute gap. Almost immediately it became evident that it would be another day for the breakaway to contest the stage victory.
Back in the peloton, Team Sunweb were riding to protect Wilco Kelderman and position him well for the GC battle due to take place on the day’s first category ascent. As the peloton crested the summit of the climb a select group of GC favourites had formed. Wilco was there with Sam Oomen alongside for company. After some gaps formed on the technical descent, the group came back together at the bottom of the climb and the group of favourites went on to cross the line together in Alhama de Murcia. Both Wilco and Sam remain 11th and 12th overall.
After the stage Sam said: “We knew that today would be a really tricky final with a technical descent after two climbs. Me and Wilco had to be in a good position before the descent started and the team did a great job in making sure we were up there. After the descent we managed to stay with the other GC riders and go on to the finish together. It was a good day to start back again after a good rest day.”
Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef said: “It was a rainy day today with the first race day including a first category climb. From the top of the climb there was a technical descent to the finish. It was a fight of nearly 90 kilometres for a break of 18 riders to go clear. On the climb Wilco and Sam could go with the first riders over the top and finish inside the main group of favourites.”