De La Cruz moves up in the Vuelta a España
The 28-year-old continues to be the highest-placed home rider and will start the second week in sixth overall.
First nine stages of the Vuelta a España are done and dusted, and Quick-Step Floors came out of these with three victories – netted by Yves Lampaert (Gruissan), Matteo Trentin (Tarragona) and Julian Alaphilippe (Xorret de Cati) – four additional podiums, six days in the green jersey and one rider in the general classification top 10, results which make our team the most successful in the race so far.
David De La Cruz, who is making his fourth Vuelta outing, showed grit and determination during these first nine stages, fighting hard until the last ounce of energy and proving he is an important player for the overall, which has been a close battle so far. Most recently, the Quick-Step Floors rider was a protagonist on Alto de Puig Llorença(4 kilometers, 9.1% average gradient), where neo-pro Enric Mas led the way, before the GC contenders stepped in.
In the final kilometer, David moved to the front and pushed a hard tempo, his acceleration stretching out the red jersey group and seeing several riders unable to match that effort. The stage was won by Chris Froome (Team Sky), who attacked in the final 200 meters, but De La Cruz wasn't far back and concluded the day in seventh place, just 12 seconds down, a result which helped him move to sixth in the general classification.
"I didn't know this climb, it was the first time I rode here, so I made a small mistake pushing hard too early, but at the end of the day I didn't lose too much time, which is a good thing. I'm content with where I am at this point of the race, a little over a minute behind in the rankings, which makes me confident for next week, when we'll tackle the big mountains. Tomorrow we have a rest day scheduled and it will be important to recover before the tough stages which lie ahead", said David De La Cruz, who has showed a remarkable consistency so far at the season's final Grand Tour, where he came after finishing the Vuelta a Burgos in the top three.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele