Vuelta a España: Quick-Step Floors place five riders in ITT top 20
With five stages to go, David De La Cruz is 12th in the general classification and still in cards for a top-10 finish.
Vuelta a España isn't strange to using moto circuits as venues for its stages: after Jerez, Assen, Estoril, Valencia and Motorland Aragon, to name just a few, now Circuito de Navarra (3933 meters) got to feature on the course, as host of the stage 16 start, which scheduled the race's only individual time trial, held over a flat and pretty much straightforward 40.2km-long route with favourable tailwind.
Quick-Step Floors – who so far in this Vuelta has won five stages, taking the team's Grand Tour tally this season to 15 victories – was one of the performers of the day, placing no less than five men in the top 20 by the end of the stage: Luxembourg Champion Bob Jungels, who was the team's highest-ranked rider in ninth, Belgian Champion Yves Lampaert, Matteo Trentin, Niki Terpstra and David De La Cruz.
The 28-year-old Spaniard is 12th in the overall standings, but has clawed back time on some of the riders who are standing between him and a second consecutive finish at the Vuelta a España. Another opportunity for David to make up ground will come on Wednesday, when the peloton will arrive on Los Machucos, a 7.2km climb with narrow roads never before used in the race; located in Cantabria, the ascent is one of the steepest in Spain, with 30% maximum gradients which will create more gaps between the GC contenders.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele