La Vuelta a Espana #6: Crash splits peloton & Meintjes loses time

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Stage 6 of La Vuelta a Espana ended in a reduced bunch sprint, in which Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis, Solutions Credits) took the spoils ahead of Danny van Poppel (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors).

Stage 6 of La Vuelta was a shorter stage of 155.7km and looked to be a day for the sprinters. With only two category three climbs, the break of the day, containing three riders, was caught by the peloton with still 28km to go.

Soon after the race all came back together, a crash with 26km to go was caused by a rider hitting a bollard in the middle of the road while exiting a corner. The crash caused a split in the peloton and unfortunately our entire African team was caught up behind it.

Immediately following the crash our riders worked hard at the front of the chasing group to try and catch the lead group, as we tried to bring Louis Meintjes back into contention. The peloton, being led by Team Sky, had turned up the speed at the front though, as they looked to profit from the misfortune of those affected by the crash.

With not enough cohesion in the chase group, the gap slowly opened up as the front of the race rode away from our African Team. In the end, Bouhanni sprinted to victory from the 55-rider leading group as our Dimension Data team led the chase group across the line, 1’44” down.

Meintjes maintained his position of 27th on the GC but had to concede over a minute and a half to nearly all the GC favourites.

Bingen Fernandez – Sport Director
After 3 really good days, today was a disappointing stage for us. Unfortunately a crash with 26km to go split the race and our team came out of the situation the worst, with all our riders behind the split. The positive was our guys got together quite quickly to chase down the front group, together with some Sunweb riders, but when you have 6 or 7 teams pulling up front against just 2 behind, we were fighting a losing a battle. So we missed the chance for a stage win with Ryan today and Louis also lost time on the GC. Before the race started we expected there could be some unpredictable moments like this during the 3 weeks, it’s how we bounce back now that matters the most.