UAE Team Emirates’ Darwin Atapuma produced a strong attacking display during Stage 11 of the Vuelta, as the Columbian secured a top 10 finish. Atapuma led the breakaway on the penultimate climb – the Alto de Velefique – and looked to be in a strong position with just 7km to go. The UAE Team Emirates rider was caught by the chasing peloton ascending the final climb – the Calar Alto – but still managed to finish in a respectable ninth place.
Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) pulled away from the breakaway group in the final kilometer of the race to claim his first ever Grand Tour stage victory. Chris Froome (Team Sky) holds on to the red jersey for another day.
Commenting on the result, UAE Team Emirates’ Darwin Atapuma said: “Today I did my best. I gave everything to win, but I couldn’t. When the best GC riders bridged the gap on me, I didn’t have enough energy to fight with them.”
Stage 12 will be another strong test for riders, as the relentless climbing continues. This is the fifth consecutive day where riders will have to tackle a category one climb, with today’s challenge – the Puerta del León – leading riders into the picturesque nature park of las Sierras Subbéticas. The riders then head north west for a category two climb, before descending to the finish in the Spanish town of Antequera.
— @UAE-TeamEmirates (@TeamUAEAbuDhabi) August 30, 2017
Stage 11 Results
1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Colombia) Astana Pro Team – 5:05:09
2. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky – 00:14
3. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team – “
9. Darwin Atapuma (Colombia) UAE Team Emirates – 01:02
1. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky – 45:18:01
2. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) Bahrain Merida Pro Cycling Team – 01:19
3. Johan Esteban Chaves (Spain) ORICA Scott – 02:33
16. Louis Meintjes (SA) UAE Team Emirates – 06:39
The first week of September sees an action packed couple of days with eight riders from UAE Team Emirates taking part in two consecutive back-to-back one-day races.
The team starts with the Bruxelles Cycling Classic (formerly Paris-Brussels) on Saturday 2 September before heading to France for the Grand Prix de Fourmies (La Voix Du Nord) on Sunday 3 September.
Taking part in both races are UAE Team Emirates’ riders: Simone Consonni, Roberto Ferrari, Filippo Ganna, Andrea Guardini, Marko kump, Seid Lizde, Vegard Stake Laengen and Oliviero Troia.
Commenting on the races and line-up, UAE Team Emirates’ Sports Director Righi said: “The Bruxelles Cycling Classic is a good opportunity for sprinters, while the Grand Prix de Fourmies features a route that’s a little more selective, which usually witnesses a group of around 40-50 riders competing to win in the final sprint.
“Of course the weather could influence the race, considering that in previous years the weather did significantly make the races more difficult.”
“Recently, Kump has been the rider in the best form and had some pretty impressive results. He will focus on trying to make the most out of his speed, especially in the Bruxelles Classic. If the Grand Prix de Fourmies ends in a bunch sprint then Consonni has what it takes to try and stand out.”
The Bruxelles Cycling Classic, covering a distance of 201.3km, starts at the Cinquantenaire Park and finishes at the King Baudouin Stadium. While the Grand Prix de Fourmies sees riders cycle 205km, starting and ending in the Nord region in France.
Elsewhere in Europe UAE Team Emirates is racing at the third and final Grand Tour of the season – the Vuelta a Espana until September 10, 2017.
UAE Team Emirates’ Louis Meintjes rose one place in the General Classification (GC) standings to 16th after finishing amongst fellow GC contenders on Stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana.
The South African crossed the line in 38th place, alongside current red jersey holder, Chris Froome (Team Sky).
Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) rode to another stage victory, crossing the line one second ahead of his nearest challenger in the sprint finish.
Commenting on Tuesday’s stage, UAE Team Emirates’ Louis Meintjes said: “It was a really hard day with some really extreme weather. For the first two hours we did 50km per hour with really bad visibility. I’m happy to finish without crashing and the last descent was very tricky, but I managed to get back and finish with the front group.”
Stage 11 will continue to test riders’ legs as we approach the halfway point of the Vuelta.
The 187.5km route from Lorca to Observatorio Astronómico de Calar Alto includes a number of false flats, some of which precede the two category one climbs that riders face going into the final 45km of the race. This stage could have a significant impact on the GC standings.
— @UAE-TeamEmirates (@TeamUAEAbuDhabi) August 29, 2017