Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling) claimed stage 17 of the Vuelta a Espana today, marking the Swiss rider’s victory in two years.
Frank managed to escape fellow breakaway companion, Dario Cataldo (Astana), during the closing kilometers to seize the stage honors atop the Alto Mas de la Costa.
Meanwhile, Robert Gesink (LottoNL-Jumbo) led the chase to try and pull back the Swiss rider, only to be eclipsed by Leopold König (Team Sky) during the final meters.
As a result, Gesink had to settle for third spot on the podium.
Frank was part of an original 28-rider breakaway group.
However, Frank and Cataldo succeeded in riding clear of the group during the final 20 kilometers – subsequently opening up a modest advantage of 30 seconds.
With just over two kilometers to go however, Frank succeeded in jettisoning Cataldo, as he made his way up the final steep slopes to a solo victory.
In the meantime, Gesink led what remained of the breakaway group, alongside König, who later dropped the Dutch rider during the final few meters.
“I’m super happy” Frank said at the finish. “I’ve had a rough season, not much was worked as I wanted – I had to abandon the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France. So I came here and I told myself I want to have fun, get a good feeling back. To finally have a victory after more than two years, winning a Grand Tour stage, it’s just amazing”, said a jubilant Frank.
Back in the peloton, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) animated things a bit, with a sudden attack. However, race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was quick to respond to his move, along with Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange).
Meanwhile, Chris Froome (Team Sky) was initially distanced by Contador’s surge, but the British rider managed to get back on terms with his three rivals just before the finish.
From there, the quartet crossed the line together, thus keeping the overall standings unchanged.
Stage 17 Results
SUI 1 FRANK, Mathias (IAM CYCLING) 4:34:38
CZE 2 KONIG, Leopold (SKY) + 6
NED 3 GESINK, Robert (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 11
ESP 4 BILBAO LOPEZ DE ARMENTIA, Pello (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA) + 14
ITA 5 CATALDO, Dario (ASTANA) + 16
ESP 6 HERRADA LOPEZ, José (MOVISTAR) + 29
FRA 7 DOMONT, Axel (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 48
BEL 8 DE CLERCQ, Bart (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 57
CRO 9 DURASEK, Kristijan (LAMPRE – MERIDA) + 1:02
ESP 10 ZUBELDIA AGIRRE, Haimar (TREK – SEGAFREDO) + 1:04
SUI 11 WYSS, Marcel (IAM CYCLING) + 1:10
FRA 12 QUEMENEUR, Perrig (DIRECT ENERGIE) + 1:21
AUT 13 GOGL, Michael (TINKOFF) + 1:24
RUS 14 KOCHETKOV, Pavel (KATUSHA) + 1:31
SUI 15 DILLIER, Silvan (BMC RACING) + 1:34
FRA 16 ROSSETTO, Stéphane (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS) + 1:37
FRA 17 CHEVRIER, Clement (IAM CYCLING) + 1:39
ITA 18 SBARAGLI, Kristian (DIMENSION DATA) + 1:49
FRA 19 LADAGNOUS, Matthieu (FDJ) + 2:17
ESP 20 ERVITI OLLO, Imanol (MOVISTAR) + 2:28
GER 21 PFINGSTEN, Christoph (BORA-ARGON 18) + 2:33
ESP 22 ROSON GARCIA, Jaime (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA) + 2:41
GBR 23 THWAITES, Scott (BORA-ARGON 18) + 3:09
ESP 24 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TINKOFF) + 3:27
GBR 25 FROOME, Christopher (SKY)
COL 26 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR)
COL 27 CHAVES RUBIO, Jhoan Esteban (ORICA-BikeExchange)
FRA 28 PERAUD, Jean-Christophe (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 4:05
BEL 29 HERMANS, Ben (BMC RACING) + 4:15
ITA 30 SCARPONI, Michele (ASTANA) + 4:16
USA 31 TALANSKY, Andrew (CANNONDALE) + 4:18
RUS 32 MAMYKIN, Matvey (KATUSHA) + 4:20
ITA 33 FORMOLO, Davide (CANNONDALE) + 4:23
GBR 34 YATES, Simon (ORICA-BikeExchange)
ESP 35 MORENO FERNANDEZ, Daniel (MOVISTAR) + 4:25
ESP 36 VALVERDE BELMONTE, Alejandro (MOVISTAR) + 4:27
ESP 37 PARDILLA BELLON, Sergio (CAJA RURAL-SEGUROS RGA) + 4:31
NZL 38 BENNETT, George (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 4:44
ESP 39 DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, David (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 4:56
ESP 40 MATE MARDONES, Luis Angel (COFIDIS, SOLUTIONS CREDITS) + 4:59
General Classification after Stage 17
COL 1 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR) 69:35:32
GBR 2 FROOME, Christopher (SKY) + 3:37
COL 3 CHAVES RUBIO, Jhoan Esteban (ORICA-BikeExchange) + 3:57
ESP 4 CONTADOR VELASCO, Alberto (TINKOFF) + 4:02
GBR 5 YATES, Simon (ORICA-BikeExchange) + 6:03
USA 6 TALANSKY, Andrew (CANNONDALE) + 7:34
ESP 7 SANCHEZ GONZALEZ, Samuel (BMC RACING) + 8:12
ITA 8 FORMOLO, Davide (CANNONDALE) + 8:13
ITA 9 SCARPONI, Michele (ASTANA) + 8:28
ESP 10 DE LA CRUZ MELGAREJO, David (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 8:52
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