Vuelta a España: De La Cruz holds onto fourth overall after hectic final
The coveted green jersey continues to rest on the shoulders of Matteo Trentin.
Stage 12 of the Vuelta a España (Motril – Antequera, 160.1 kilometers) was considered a transition one, but some riders had other plans and as consequence they blew it to pieces one the last climb of the day, Puerto del Torcal (7.6 kilometers, 7%), where Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Nicholas Roche (BMC) attacked from the peloton and opened a significant gap which forced the red jersey group embark on a furious pace, that whittled down the bunch to around 25 riders in the downhill.
It was there that overall leader Chris Froome (Team Sky) crashed twice as the chase was on behind Contador, who in the meantime dropped Roche. The favourites group, which included Quick-Step Floors' David De La Cruz, continued to ride hard in pursuit of the Spaniard and their combined efforts paid dividends at the finish, where they arrived just 22 seconds behind Contador, after the gap was at one point close to a minute.
Fourth in the general classification after his impressive ride on Calar Alto, David kept his position after one of the most intense and stressful stages of this edition: "It was another tough day at the Vuelta. We once again had a fast start and I think we covered 50 kilometers in the first hour. Then, things slightly calmed down, only to go crazy again with 20 kilometers left. I'm glad we overcame this stage and my legs were again good, as this gives me renewed confidence for what's to come", David De La Cruz explained after the complicated stage 12.
His teammate, Matteo Trentin, earned another visit on the podium at the end of the day, having successfully defended the green jersey, which rewards the best rider in the points classification.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele