The UCI WorldTour Chronicle
- What Happened -
Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) has won the Vuelta a España, third and last Grand Tour of the season, after fending off persistent attacks from triple Tour de France champion Chris Froome (Team Sky).
Having won the race’s only individual time trial on Friday, Froome’s bid to take the Vuelta for the first time in his career saw him cut back over two minutes of Quintana’s overall advantage. However, Quintana then successfully fended off Froome’s series of challenges on the race’s final ascent, to the Alto de Aitana on Saturday.
Quintana therefore rode into Madrid the overall winner, with Froome second and Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange), already a runner-up in the Giro d’Italia, in third.
"It's spectacular, it's a dream come true. I've been fighting many times to win the Vuelta and finally we've done it," said Quintana, already the Giro winner in 2014.
”I've done many things in my career but this is the most important victory because of the rivals and the other riders who were here.”
As of September 12th, Quintana has ousted longstanding leader Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) from the head of the UCI WorldTour individual classification. Quintana has 609 points, Sagan drops to second with 585 points, whilst Chris Froome remains in third with 564 points.
Whilst Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) moves up to fourth from sixth, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) jumps seventh from ninth, Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange) makes the biggest gain, moving from 23rd to tenth.
Meanwhile, Movistar remain in command of the WorldTour teams classification, and Spain stay on top of the WorldTour nations ranking.
UCI World Champion Peter Sagan sprinted to the finish line to take the victory at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec. He caught late-race attacker and defending champion Rigoberto Urán (Cannondale-Drapac) just metres from the finish line to take the win ahead of Olympic gold medallist Greg Van Avermaet and Anthony Roux (FDJ).
"I felt like I didn't need to go full gas on the last two climbs because the end is so hard. The last kilometre was a headwind, Rigoberto tried like last year, but today it was different,” Sagan said at the finish line.
The roles were then reversed on Sunday when Van Avermaet managed to defeat Sagan in the Grand Prix Cycliste Montréal with a well-calculated late manoeuvre that gave the Olympic Champion the win ahead of the Tinkoff rider and Lampre-Merida’s Diego Ulissi.
“ It's been an incredible year,” Van Avermaet, who also won a stage and led the Tour de France for several days, reflected. “For many years I was the guy who didn't quite make it and now I've won all those great races It's sure that Peter and I have responsibilities as the UCI World Champion and Olympic Champion and I'm sure we will continue to do our best in the years to come."
As of September 4th, Peter Sagan remains in the lead of the Individual UCI World Ranking, and France in the lead of the UCI World Ranking classification.
The 2016 UCI WorldTour has now completed 22,008.3 kilometres
- What's Next -
The Eneco Tour > Monday September 19th - Sunday September 25th
Last year’s results
Eneco Tour 2015
1. Tim Wellens (BEL)
2. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL)
3. Wilco Kelderman (NED)
What you should know about…the Eneco Tour
The Eneco Tour is a week-long stage race held in the Low Countries, usually in August.
The Eneco Tour usually features hilly summit finishes and a medium length individual trial. It is usually won by an all-rounder who can race well in one-day Classics. This year it also features a team time trial.
The Eneco Tour began as the Tour of the Netherlands in 1948, but was only run intermittently until 2000.
Starting in its current, modern-day format in 2005, three riders have since won it twice: Spain’s Jose Ivan Gutierrez, Belgium’s Tim Wellens - the current defending champion, and Norway’s Edvald Boasson Hagen.
Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep) and André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) hold the record for the most stage wins, with seven each.
This year’s race starts in Bolsward, Holland and then finishes in Geraardsbergen, Belgium. Two time trials, a 9.8 kilometre individual race on stage two and a longer 20 kilometre team time trial on stage six, will likely prove to be the 2016 Eneco Tour’s key stages.
- Photo of the week -
- Focus on Tim Wellens
Tim Wellens is a 25-year-old Belgian professional with the Lotto-Soudal team. Born in the town of Sint-Truiden, Wellens’ first full season as a pro was in 2013. Since then he has won several prestigious week-long stage races, including the Eneco Tour and the Tour de Pologne, as well as the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal in 2015.
Major victories and placings
Paris-Nice, one stage
Giro d’Italia: one stage
Tour de Pologne, one stage and overall
Eneco Tour, one stage and overall
Eneco Tour, one stage and overall
Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal.
- #UCIWT Corner -