The Vuelta a España’s lead modified arms for a 3rd time in six days on Wednesday as Bahrain-Merida’s Dylan Teuns claimed his first-ever Grand Tour total chief’s jersey on the finish of an extended breakaway.
Teuns was simply pipped to the road on stage 6 by Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) in a two-man duel at Ares de Maestrat’s grinding uphill end.
However having left the one different GC dangerman, David de La Cruz (Staff Ineos), behind with 4 kilometres to go, the 27-year-old Belgian was nonetheless capable of wrest the lead from Astana’s Miguel Angel Lopez.
Second final 12 months within the Vuelta’s Monte Oiz stage received by Michael Woods (EF Schooling First), this time around the Belgian’s second place on an uphill end within the Spanish Grand Tour netted him a a lot larger comfort prize.
It additionally reversed the end result he achieved within the first week of the Tour de France in july, when Teuns received on the Planche des Belle Filles in one other two-way battle towards Trek-Segafredo’s Guilio Ciccone, however couldn’t cease the Italian from taking the lead.
Teuns spell in la roja additionally exhibits he is firmly moved previous his freak summer season accident this summer season, when he fell off his backyard lawnmower following the Tour de France and wanted 15 stitches in a head wound.
“As you noticed at this time within the race, I’m doing high-quality,” he informed a Belgian reporter.
Beforehand, Teuns had agreed with journalists that his lead to stage six of the Vuelta was the other to the Tour.
“However I knew that at this time I might be up there for the jersey,” he stated. “After all I used to be racing for stage win, however within the last climb I went full fuel from half-way up. I’m simply unfortunate that one man was sturdy sufficient to observe me, and he performed it very sensible within the final kilometre.”
Teuns’ breakthrough end result as a professional got here when he positioned third in Fleche Wallonne in 2017, and aside from his mano-a-mano with Woods final 12 months within the Vuelta’s Monte Oiz, he additionally received the Tour de Pologne two years again largely due to his capacity to fly up the ultra-steep stage end at Szcyrk.
All of which begs the query as as to whether a frontrunner like Teuns, with theoretically restricted longterm GC ambitions, might, in reality, maintain onto the jersey on the 21 % slopes that the Vuelta riders will deal with on Friday’s dauntingly onerous ascent of Mas de la Costa.
“We must see. I nonetheless want to take a look at the ultimate climb,” Teuns stated. “I do know it’s fairly onerous and steep, however we noticed yesterday [on stage 5] the GC riders listed here are actually sturdy. I’ll give it all the things.”
When it comes to his total profession, Teuns sees his spell within the Vuelta lead as an indication of his total development.
“I have been bettering steadily for the final two years, and I’m fairly certain I can do extra sooner or later, too.”