Vuelta al Pais Vasco: De La Cruz time trials to fourth overall
The Spaniard racked up his best career result at a World Tour stage race after another impressive ride, this time against the clock.
David De La Cruz rode the time trial of his life Saturday afternoon, at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, concluding the day in fifth position after leading the provisional classification at one point, following an impressive display over the 27.7km-long stage six, which had the riders roll out from Eibar, climb Elgeta and then go on a circuit that took them back to the town traversed by the river Ego.
Clocked in 36:32, around half a minute behind stage winner Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo), David proved yet again that he's in a very good shape and is enjoying one of the best periods of his career. Thanks to this display, the 27-year-old moved up five positions in the overall standings at the end of the day and finished the race fourth, only 23 seconds separating him from the podium, which comprised Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Ion Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida).
Teammate and fellow countryman Enric Mas was another Quick-Step Floors rider to post a notable result on Saturday; the former winner of Volta ao Alentejo and Tour de Savoie had one of the best times at the top of the 6.7km climb and despite not being on his favourite ground in the second part of the stage, he still put in a solid ride, concluding the race in 14th place, a result which underlines the quality of the 22-year-old neo-pro.
"Immediately after the finish, I was a bit disappointed for not getting on the podium, but then, after I saw who was there and also behind me in the GC, I became quite satisfied with my result. The team was strong here, did a great job for me throughout the week and I'm very grateful to them. Overall, it was a nice race and the results I got – from the stage win to this top 5 – gave me a lot of confidence for my next appointments, the Tour de Romandie and the Tour of California", said a pleased David De La Cruz.
Quick-Step Floors' remarkable run at the 57th Vuelta al Pais Vasco also meant the squad had increased their lead in the World Tour team standings, being now nearly 1300 points clear of the second-placed outfit, after 14 of the season's 38 events.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele