Team Sunweb’s Jai Hindley put in a huge ride to 9th on stage 17 of the Vuelta, after surviving the day’s terrain in the prevailing breakaway.
The front of the peloton were extremely active in the opening kilometres of stage 17, with various attacks neutralised before a 21 man group got away on the final part of the climb. Team Sunweb’s Jai Hindley was a part of the group, who were later joined by a five others as their lead stretched out to eight minutes. The peloton began their chase with around 60 kilometres to go, but with the group up the road working well together, they were never able to bring them back.
As the numbers up front decreased on the final first categorised climb to the line, Team Sunweb’s Jai Hindley gave all he had to stay in touch with the break. Five men managed to edge clear, with Jai holding on in the chasing group. He finished the day in 9th place, a strong effort from the Aussie youngster who makes his grand tour debut at the Vuelta.
Distanced from the GC group as the attacks came in abundance on the final climb, Wilco Kelderman finished the day to retain 12th in the overall standings.
Jai said: “We wanted to try get Wilco in the break but it didn’t work out as he needed a bike change, then everyone tried and it was me who ended up getting in the group that went clear. It was a really tough day and I suffered a lot. There’s been a few tough stages like this, but this was really hard. I was trying to go for the best result that I could and I’m pretty happy with how things went.”
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek said: “Today we we wanted to be in the break, preferably with Wilco. Unfortunately wilco needed to change bike at the first KOM where the break went. The team did a good job at the beginning of the stage. We were active and Jai made it in the break. To finish top 10 in such a hard stage in the third week is a nice reward for Jai who is doing his first grand tour.”