Vuelta Stage Report: A wet day in Cantabria saw the peloton spread all over the final climb of the day. Jay Vine appeared through the cloud to cross the line first. Fifteen seconds behind him Remco Evenepoel and Enric Mas distanced the other favourites, including Primoz Roglič, by over a minute. Evenepoel is now in the overall lead.
Stage 6 – last kilometre
From Zwift to GT stage winner – Jay Vine
Jay Vine won the first summit finish of the 2022 Vuelta a España. The Australian from Alpecin-Deceuninck escaped from the favourites group on the final climb to Pico Jano and held off a chasing Remco Evenepoel and Enric Mas. They made a big difference in the overall standings against the top GC men. Evenepoel is the new leader on the general classification due to his second place.
Rudy Molard in red at the stage start – Will there be yet another new overall leader at the end of the day?
Fernando Escartín: “A stage where escapes are likely to go well and last until the end. The succession of Las Alisas and the Collada de Bremes will create a natural selection before arriving at Jano Peak. This long, stretched out, unprecedented mountain pass may leave one of the favourites behind if his strength fails him.”
Stage 6 profile
With Rudy Molard in the red leader’s jersey, the riders started from Bilbao. In contrast to the previous days, it was a lot cooler, there was a lot of rain and on the climbs it was also foggy. That didn’t stop ten riders from attacking.
The stage sign-on was in-front of the San Mamés Stadium where Athletic Bilbao play
Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) was the best placed rider in the break of the day with Rubén Fernández (Cofidis), Mark Padun (EF-Education EasyPost), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Fausto Masnada (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Kaden Groves (BikeExchange-Jayco), Marco Brenner (DSM), Dario Cataldo (Trek-Segafredo), Xandro Meurisse (Alpecin-Deceuninck) and Xabier Mikel Azparren (Euskaltel-Euskadi). They took almost 6 minutes from the Groupama-FDJ led peloton.
‘That kid has my jersey’ – Roglič at the start in Bilbao
The stage was far from flat with two Cat.1 climbs
Bakelants was the virtual leader on the road for a short time, but the gap quickly decreased when Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl set the pace for the chasers. The Belgian team clearly had plans for Remco Evenepoel. Just before the penultimate climb of the day, INEOS Grenadiers also showed their intentions by pushing hard on the front of the peloton, which had already thinned out considerably.
The day started well, but the weather soon changed for the worse
Not a day for Sam Bennett
On a wet descent, just before the Collada de Brenes (6.8km at 8.2%), there was a crash in the peloton. This split the bunch and a small group of mainly INEOS and Jumbo-Visma riders pushed on towards the Collada de Brenes. The other favourites managed to return just in time, after which Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl took control again.
Xandro Meurisse (Alpecin-Fenix) got the break of the day started
The peloton let the break go – For awhile
On that first category climb, Padun managed to get away from the leading group. The climber from Ukraine was looking for the stage win, but the thinned peloton was chasing hard. The top men were 2 minutes behind Padun on the Collada de Brenes. The pace of World champion Julian Alaphilippe, before the summit, was too high for red jersey Molard, who was in trouble and looking like he would lose his overall lead.
It looked like Groupama-FDJ wanted to keep the overall lead
Padun had a lead of 1:05 on his first pursuers Fernández and Masnada at the top and 1:50 on the group of GC men. The descent of the Collada de Brenes was very dangerous as it was also soaking wet. Padun was very careful on the corners and lost a lot of his lead.
Wet work for the break
Fernández and Masnada were caught in the valley towards the final climb, as Padun started the Pico Jano to San Miguel de Aguayo (12.6km at 6.5%, max. 15%) with a lead of 55 seconds. Molard had managed to rejoin the favourites group with help from Pinot, but Jay Vine would soon make his move. After Evenepoel had used up all his men, it was Simon Yates who placed the first attack. The Briton was followed by the other GC men, but Mikel Landa was missing. The next attack came from Evenepoel, who had Primoz Roglič on his wheel.
As the stage progressed the weather got worse
Due to the pace of the Belgian and the Slovenian, the elite group exploded. Enric Mas and Pavel Sivakov were the only riders able to follow. Evenepoel then put the pressure on and as a result, Roglič and Sivakov couldn’t hold on and ended up in a group with Yates and Juan Ayuso. Only Mas managed to keep up with Evenepoel. More than 6 kilometres from the top, Vine caught and passed Padun. Behind it was Juan Ayuso who was able to pull away from the chasers. The talented Spaniard went after Evenepoel and Mas on his own, but it was difficult for him to get closer. Meanwhile, the Belgian and the Spaniard also had difficulty in closing the 20 second gap to Vine.
Mark Padun (EF Education-EasyPost) went solo from the break
The Australian of Alpecin-Deceuninck held on to that lead over Evenepoel and Mas in the finale, while Ayuso followed at 40 seconds. Behind; the Roglič group had grown considerably, including Carapaz, João Almeida, Jai Hindley and Wilco Kelderman. The difference to Evenepoel and Mas had already increased to 1 minute. At the start of the final kilometre Vine was still 20 seconds ahead of Evenepoel and Mas. Ayuso was still between the groups. Further behind was Roglič who had to limit the damage. He set the pace for the other favourites.
Jay Vine went solo after Padun
Vine held up well and took victory in the dense fog. Fifteen seconds behind him, Evenepoel took second place, dropping Mas for 1 second. Ayuso followed at 55 seconds from Vine and the Roglič group crossed the line at 1:37. The Slovenian lost just under one and a half minutes to Evenepoel and Mas.
Evenepoel pulled Mas to the finish
Juan Ayuso was 4th at 0:55
Stage winner, Jay Vine (Alpecin-Deceuninck): “It’s almost unreal. I missed the break, I had a flat tyre in the first 5km. It’s unreal to be able to do it from the GC group in the last 10km. I’ve been working so much this year after coming so close last year. It’s a dream come true. I knew that Padun was still up the road and if I was gonna close down the gap I had to go from long. It was good that I had 13 minutes on GC. I was able to manage my effort and pace the climb pretty handily. [In the last kilometre], I thought about my wife who’s basically done everything for me in the last 3 or 4 years to get me to this point.”
Stage win for Jay Vine – Yes, it is him
Overall leader and 2nd on the stage, Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl): “I’m really happy, I’m proud to be leader. It’s a big dream come true. This is the reason why I’ve been working so hard for so long. What I showed today is maybe one of the best things I did on a bike. In an uphill finish to put such a strong performance thanks to the team is a dream come true. This is why we are here in La Vuelta. We can only be proud of what we showed today and I hope we can keep this good feeling.”
Remco in red
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Vuelta a España Stage 6 Result:
1. Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Deceuninck in 4:38:00
2. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl at 0:15
3. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 0:16
4. Juan Ayuso (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 0:55
5. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 1:37
6. Pavel Sivakov (Fra) INEOS Grenadiers
7. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Jai Hindley BORA-hansgrohe
9. Carlos Rodríguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers
10. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange-Jayco.
Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 6:
1. Remco Evenepoel (Bel) Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl in 20:50:07
2. Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJ at 0:21
3. Enric Mas (Spa) Movistar at 0:28
4. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 1:01
5. Juan Ayuso (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 1:12
6. Pavel Sivakov (Fra) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:27
7. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GB) INEOS Grenadiers
8. Carlos Rodríguez (Spa) INEOS Grenadiers at 1:34
9. Simon Yates (GB) BikeExchange-Jayco at 1:52
10. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates at 1:54.