Enric Mas finishes runner-up at Vuelta a Burgos
Quick-Step Floors' neo-pro took home the best young rider trophy, while David De La Cruz rounded out the overall podium.
Enric Mas' star shone brightly this week at Vuelta a Burgos, one of the most brutal and testing week-long stage races of the season, where the 22-year-old showed his class, potential and a maturity beyond his age on the way to finishing second in the rankings and becoming the youngest rider since 2012 to make it onto the podium.
The Spaniard, who came to Quick-Step Floors after making his apprenticeship with Klein Constantia in 2016, was one of the strongest riders of the race in the mountains, which he proved right from the inaugural day, when he came home in fourth place, a result followed by two resounding top-3 finishes, on Picon Blanco and Lagunas de Neila; on the latter, he dropped overall winner Mikel Landa (Team Sky) 200 meters from the line, taking second on the stage and sealing his win in the young riders classification.
"I am really happy with the result and how my condition is after the training camp in Livigno, last month, which paid off here. This race has been a great experience, with nice stages and fans, who encouraged me on the climbs and gave me even more motivation to get a good result", said Enric Mas, whose second place on the iconic Lagunas de Neila (11.3km, 9.5%) meant that Quick-Step Floors was the only team to place a rider in the top-3 on all five stages.
The Mallorcan, whose consistency was underlined by his top-3 finish in all of the race's classifications, continued: "I'm satisfied with the legs I had this week; finishing second, less than a minute behind Landa, who was the strongest rider in the race, and taking home the trophy for the best U23 rider, are two feats which make me very confident for the next appointments of the season."
Also David De La Cruz put in a solid climbing display in the Vuelta a Burgos, as the 28-year-old was one of the few riders who attacked and tried to put pressure on Mikel Landa. The 28-year-old came just short of a stage victory on Picon Blanco, before a fourth place on Lagunas de Neila helped him claim third in the general classification, 46 seconds behind the winner.
For David, who earlier this season nabbed stage victories at Paris-Nice and Vuelta al Pais Vasco, it was only the second participation at the Vuelta a Burgos and it marked his best result in a stage race since finishing runner-up at Vuelta a Asturias, five years ago.
Photo credit: ©Javi Linares