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How Did Simon Yates Win La Vuelta a España? | The Cycling Race News Show

Welcome back to the GCN Racing news show,
this week, after a year of heartbreak is transformed into an almighty success, we ask, just how
did Simon Yates win the Vuelta a Espana? We’ve also got the Madrid Challenge by La
Vuelta, the Coppa Agostoni and Bernocchi, the Okola Slovenska, the Tour Cycliste Feminin
International de l’Ardeche, a new hour record and an update from the Race to the Rock. On Sunday, Simon Yates finished off the perfect
three weeks of racing and was crowned champion of the Vuelta a Espana. An important step for the 26 year old, who
has, this year, lost Paris Nice on the last stage, by just four seconds, and then completely
cracked on the penultimate mountain stage of the Giro d’Italia, a race he dominated
from start, almost to finish. So how, exactly, did he do it? Well, firstly, by keeping a bloody lid on
it – at least most of the time: That video coming after stage 4, when, contrary
to team orders, Yates couldn’t help but attack, taking close to half a minute on most
of his rivals. Why was it against the plan? Because he and his team had learnt the lessons
from the Giro, where he had attacked at every possible moment to take time, and bonus seconds. That was the strategy he had to adopt at the
Giro, up against two strong time trialists, but without that type of rider at the Vuelta,
he could afford to play the waiting game, not lose any time, but not go too deep in
trying to gain it. Speaking of which, even in the second and
third weeks, it looked as though he was consciously trying to avoid going too deep. On stage 13 to La Camperona, he lost a handful
of seconds to Quintana, and then the same thing happened on stage 17, this time to Valverde. They were both very steep finishes, and you
wonder, given how good he proved to be in the final few days, if that was a deliberate
move – a calculated loss of time which meant he didn’t go too deep, didn’t dig too
far into his reserves. Another masterstroke from Mitchelton Scott
was to keep Adam Yates fresh until the final week. The Vuelta hadn’t originally been on his
race program, but with Simon in great form, he was persuaded to come. And we didn’t see anything from him, until
it mattered. Here are his list of stage placings for the
first two weeks: And here are his results from the last week:
It was another calculated risk, but with the likes of Jack Haig, Damien Howson and the
rest of the team, they were able to guide Simon through the first two weeks, leaving
Adam to come into his own on the most decisive stages. Whilst he held back as much as he could, he
also couldn’t help but attack. Along with the aforementioned unplanned attack
on stage 4, he also put in a devastating attack on stage 19 into Andorra, a show of dominance
that pretty much spelt the end for Alejandro Valverde, his closest challenger. There, Pinot won the stage, but Yates won
the race. Again, though, the following day, when Adam
Yates was on his last legs, Simon bridged with Mas to a move by Lopez and Quintana,
knowing full well that Mas and Lopez would be just as interested in riding hard as he
would. Attack can sometimes be the best form of defence,
but that move showed maturity beyond his years, and a clarity of mind – it was the move that
effectively sealed the deal on his first Grand Tour win, and Mitchelton Scott have even coined
a name for their tactics – conservative flair. Very posh. At the end of the day, though, you have to
say that Simon Yates was the strongest rider in the race. Yes, his tactics and those of his teams were
great, yes he played things to perfection, but he also had the legs. Contrary to Movistar, who’s team leaders
weren’t able to finish off the work that was put in by their teammates, Simon Yates
could – he was the strongest, the most consistent, he didn’t have a bad day, and that’s what
you need to do to win a grand tour. And so, this week’s Rider of the week has
to be…………Simon Yates. The final podium was one of the youngest we’ve
seen in decades, Yates, just 26 himself, Enric Mas, the revelation of the race, came 2nd
at just 23, whilst Miguel Angel Lopez backed up his 3rd at the Giro with the same placing
here, at just 24. Given the relative disappointment of Quintana
and Valverde, it looks like a generational shift. Well done too to Viviani, who took his 3rd
stage win on the final day, to Valverde who won the points and who has now taken 100 individual
top 10’s on Vuelta stages, to De Gendt for lighting things up almost every day and taking
the Mountains jersey in the process, and to Movistar, who will be disappointed with their
GC results, but still took the team’s classification by over three quarters of any hour. Talking of generational shifts, we saw the
end of a glittering career at the Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta. Giorgia Bronzini gave a lesson to us all on
how to go out in style by winning her final race as a professional rider. She formed part of a 16 woman group that stayed
clear to the finish – she timed her sprint perfectly to come around Sarah Roy. Bronzini, who won back to back world championships
in 2010 and 11, will now hang up her wheels to become sports director at the newly formed
Trek Factory racing. The overall race was won by Ellen Van Dijk. Her team, Sunweb, had put in a dominant performance
on the opening day’s team time trial, and in being part of the lead group with Bronzini,
she took the win by 11 seconds from her teammate Coryn Rivera. The Coppa Agostoni down in the Lombardy region
kicked off a busy period of one day races down in Italy. The race was dominated by Gianni Moscon, in
his first race back after being thrown off the Tour de France and his subsequent 5 week
ban from competition. He easily outsprinted Rein Taaramae at the
end of the 200km race. The following day at the Coppa Bernocchi,
we had a bunch sprint – a sterling lead out from Bahrain Merida saw Colbrelli perfectly
delivered to the 200m to go mark, and when he kicked, nobody could even get close. Manuele Belletti and Paolo Simion rounded
out an all Italian podium – quite apt for the 100th edition of the race. Meanwhile, a number of riders were using the
Okola Slovenska as their final prep for the upcoming world championships, and from that
point of view, things are looking very good for man of the moment Julian Alaphilippe. He and his team, Quickstep floors, dominated
the race, taking the prologue with Bob Jungels, stage won AND the overall GC with Alaphilippe,
and the final stage in a sprint with Fabio Jakobsen. For those of you keeping count, that means
Quickstep floors have won 67 races this season, with 13 different riders. Many of the top female pros, have been honing
their form for the world championships at the race with one of the longest names in
pro cycling, the Tour Cycliste Feminin International de l’Ardeche. A double day on day one saw Alexis Ryan get
the better of Arlenis Sierra, but the tables were turned that afternoon on stage 2. The big shake up on GC came on the mountain
top finish up Mont Ventoux on stage 4, 2nd place for Margarita Garcia, behind her teammate
Elder Merino, was enough for her to take the race lead over Katia Niewiadoma. However, Niewiadoma turned the tables herself
the following day, taking the stage win and the race lead in the process. The race will conclude on Tuesday after another
two hilly stages. We also, this week, saw a new hour record
set in Aguascalientes in Mexico. Vittoria Bussi did it the hard way, too – she’d
failed twice, but perseverance paid off as she bettered the mark of Evelyn Stevens by
just 27 metres, riding 48.0007km’s in the hour. A woman of many talents, Bussi has also competed
in cross country, triathlon, and holds a PHD in pure mathematics which she gained at Oxford
University. And now, she’s added a world record to her
long list of achievements. Inspiring stuff. Sticking with inspiring feats, it’s time
to head down under for the Race to the Rock. On Saturday, Sarah Hammond reached the rock,
and therefore the finish line, after a tough slog along Mulga Park Road against a fierce
headwind. Such was her dominance that, as we record
this, we are still waiting to see who will finish 2nd between Nick Skarajew, riding a
single speed, and Erinn Klein. As much as the results, though, this race
is about achievement and accomplishment, over some of the toughest terrain and in some of
the toughest conditions to ride a bike – I tip my hat to every single one of the competitors
– definitely not something I would have either the mental or physical capacity to do myself. Hammond averaged over 240km’s a day over
that terrain, in an event so tough that no man has ever managed to win it. Well done Sarah. OK that’s all for this week – it’s a slightly
quieter one next week but the Italian season continues with the Giro delle Toscana, the
Coppa Sabatini, Memorial Marco Pantani and Trofeo Matteotti, and you’ll be able to
see highlights of ALL those races over on our GCN Cycling Facebook page. Don’t forget that if you can’t get enough
of racing, you can now purchase a subscription to Eurosport player over on,
and if you do, you’ll receive a £5 or €5 voucher to spend on GCN Merch. There’s a link to that on the screen now. Give this video a thumbs up if you’ve enjoyed
it – and once you’ve done that, why not find out if cycling effects men’s sexual
health – Si went in depth on that very subject in a video you can find down here…….

65 thoughts on “How Did Simon Yates Win La Vuelta a España? | The Cycling Race News Show

  1. I enjoyed the Giro the most by far, but Valverde and Yates delivered the entertainment in this one pretty well. Still sad about Porte not making it.

  2. Thanks, Dan, especially for the Vuelta analysis, and La Vuelta was my favorite grand tour. And that Race to the Rock, crazy, man, crazy. In a good way.

  3. hmmm… how is it that british riders all of a sudden dominate the world elite? must be just hard work and dedication. guess there just aren't any elite riders in the rest of the world. honi soit qui mal y pense…

  4. Sorry, have to disagree with GCN here as I thought “rider of the week” is supposed to be lesser known rider and by this “ruling”, E.Mas from QSF should get it as he played his cards right to get number 2 in a GT!

    Nothing against S.Yates, but if he’s rider of the week, then Froome should’ve been rider of the week for that brilliant finish on the Colle delle Finestre, Giro Stage 19.

  5. Some riders i feel are very under valued on this show. Why even mention nairo when he hasnt performed for years and leave out steven kruiswijk who finished forth only Just missing the podium. Who also finished fifth in the tour… That all. Was a great tour to watch. Yates was super

  6. I never thought I would hear Dan say the words Okolo Slovenska. Good to hear about the biggest race in my country in the GCN race news show.

  7. I guess I'll have to un-sub, because there's no way to turn channels off in your feed… and I hardly ever have time to watch races live day by day. This is the second time a "how did __ win the ____?" thumbnail has bit me in the ass.

  8. I have this unshakeable feeling that, given the chance, Dan would rifle your missus' knicker drawer.
    With this in mind, I have all the more respect for Dan.
    He'd think mine was a linen drawer though, the greedy cow.

  9. Incidentally what are Yates and Geraint Thomas and Froome planning for next year, there should be some real fireworks if they meet in the Grand Tours….And what's the Thomas/Froome situation, will they both be riding in Sky again, and will Thomas be Froome's domestique?

  10. Once again the Vuelta was the best grand tour. Congratulations to Simon, but I wonder if Nairo Quintana will someday get back to his best – it does not look too good right now.

  11. Congratulations to Simon Yates. All Grand Tours won by British riders. Also chapeau to the first Australian team to win a Grand Tour.

  12. I am really impressed with Dan's ability to rattle off all of these italian and other non-english race event names with such ease and savoir-faire
    Well done Mr Lloyd

  13. Don't forget about the World Human Powered Speed Championships from this week. We saw a number of riders exceed 80 mph, and several new world records, including both the men's and women's handcycle record, and the junior men's multitrack record. More info, and dozens of pictures here:

  14. I'd followed the highlights of Giro and Vuelta daily and watched TDF races for most stages. Liked the Giro for the fight Simon put up, TDF for the own team battle between Froome and G but I like Vuelta best due to Simon and Mitchelton Scott winning

  15. What a superb tactical display from Mitchelton–Scott, especially keeping Adam Yates fresh until the third week to help his brother out. Also the way they were happy to relinquish the red jersey as burden around the wearer’s shoulders. I think these Aussies really deserve some recognition for what they have achieved.

  16. I started watching a grand tour in 2016. I am glad I found GC that has the potential to beat down Chris Froome or Sky. Similar when Madrid and Ronaldo finally stopped Barcelona and Messi domination ( I've watching football since 2011).

  17. Thanks for including Race to the Rock. Simon Yates must have been great to pip Sarah Hammond for Rider of the Week. She's won it an all 3 occasions it's been run.

  18. the giro because it was an open race till the end and the veulta was good to ….Team sky are boring to watch so didn't even watch the tour this year

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