photo credit @ La Vuelta/Twitter
Danny van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) outsprinted Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEDGE) to take the first Grand Tour stage win of his career, after winning today’s stage 12 of the Vuelta a España in Lleida.
A puncture inside the last 10 kilometers of today’s 173 kilometer stage from Escaldes-Engordany was not enough to derail 22-year-old van Poppel, who was paced back by his Trek Factory Racing teammates ahead of a nail-biting finish.
Maxim Bouet (Ag2R-La Mondiale) and Jaco Venter (MTN-Qhubeka) – the remnants of a five-man break which rode ahead of the peloton since the ninth kilometer – were only caught by the peloton with 300 meters remaining.
Van Poppel then powered his way ahead of Orica-GreenEdge’s Impey and Belgian Tosh van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal), to claim the victory.
Another Belgian rider, Nikolas Maes (Etixx-QuickStep), was fourth before John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) crossed the line for fifth place, the German classics specialist hitting his handlebars in frustration after letting another big chance at securing his first win of the Vuelta go begging.
Meanwhile, Fabio Aru (Astana) finished safely in the main group to retain his 57-second lead over Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) in the general classification, with double stage winner Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEdge) a further two seconds back in third place.
“There are not so many chances for a sprinter. When you get a chance you need to get it. We pulled all day with the Giant guys; in the end it was a really nice sprint,” said van Poppel. About the late-race flat, he said, “It was not really a puncture. It was slowly [going] down. I changed, and I came really good back. My teammates did a great job to bring me back.”
Stage 12 Results
NED 1 VAN POPPEL, Danny (TREK FACTORY RACING) 4:02:11
RSA 2 IMPEY, Daryl (ORICA GreenEDGE)
BEL 3 VAN DER SANDE, Tosh (LOTTO SOUDAL)
BEL 4 MAES, Nikolas (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
GER 5 DEGENKOLB, John (GIANT – ALPECIN)
LUX 6 DRUCKER, Jean-Pierre (BMC RACING)
BEL 7 VAN ASBROECK, Tom (LOTTO NL – JUMBO)
ITA 8 SBARAGLI, Kristian (MTN – QHUBEKA)
ESP 9 ROJAS GIL, Jose Joaquin (MOVISTAR)
COL 10 DUQUE, Leonardo Fabio (COLOMBIA)
FRA 11 SIMON, Julien (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS)
ARG 12 RICHEZE, Maximiliano Ariel (LAMPRE – MERIDA)
ESP 13 BARBERO CUESTA, Carlos (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA)
ESP 14 REYNES MIMO, Vicente (IAM CYCLING)
NED 15 TERPSTRA, Niki (ETIXX – QUICK STEP)
FRA 16 DELAGE, Mickael (FDJ)
BEL 17 KEUKELEIRE, Jens (ORICA GreenEDGE)
FRA 18 ENGOULVENT, Jimmy (EUROPCAR)
LTU 19 BAGDONAS, Gediminas (AG2R LA MONDIALE)
ESP 20 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquim (KATUSHA)
General Classification after Stage 12
ITA 1 ARU, Fabio (ASTANA) 47:16:00
ESP 2 RODRIGUEZ OLIVER, Joaquim (KATUSHA) + 27
NED 3 DUMOULIN, Tom (GIANT – ALPECIN) + 30
POL 4 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF – SAXO) + 1:28
COL 5 CHAVES RUBIO, Johan Esteban (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 1:29
ESP 6 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 1:52
ESP 7 MORENO FERNANDEZ, Daniel (KATUSHA) + 1:54
ESP 8 NIEVE ITURALDE, Mikel (SKY) + 1:58
COL 9 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR) + 3:07
RSA 10 MEINTJES, Louis (MTN – QHUBEKA) + 4:15
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