How did Aussies fare at La Vuelta?
Thirteen riders from Down Under started the 72nd edition of La Vuelta a España. Eurosport unveils who finished and where …
However, three weeks later those same fans were left numb with no real results, let alone wins. Orica’s Colombian climber Esteban Chaves, who finished four seconds behind eventual points and race winner Chris Froome (Team Sky) atop Cumbre del Sol on Stage 9, topped out at second on GC at 11 seconds back.
The 27-year-old ended the Vuelta 11th overall at 16 minutes 46 seconds behind the red jersey — a far cry from his second and third place finishes at the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta last year respectively.
Other than a solid first week that kept British twins Adam and Simon Yates in the top 10 on GC, the remainder of the three-week race resulted in a handful of unrewarding attacks from two riders that each finished as the Tour de France’s best young riders the past two years respectively.
“When you look at our success here at the Tour of Spain over the past two years, as an ‘average’ we can be happy, but this year it wasn’t to be.
“We definitely can’t question the boy’s work ethic or commitment, we tried early for GC and lost some time being aggressive and since then have been in breakaways trying to get a stage win. It hasn’t been through a lack of effort.”
“I’d say he’s on the same sort of path as Richie [Porte],” said Andrew Christie-Johnston, Haig’s former sports director while at Avanti-IsoWhey Sports (now IsoWhey Sports-SwissWellness). “He has a long way to go to get to the very top, but I think everyone has seen his natural progression over the years, and I think the next few years will be exciting to watch.
“Jack is a natural guy that is happy to work for his team-mates and ride a support role in Grand Tours, and he’d be happy to do for a while,” he explained. “But I can see him targeting races like Paris-Nice, Tour de Romandie and other seven- to 10-day stage races.
“Those races will really suit Jack and he will be given a bit more freedom,” Christie-Johnston continued. “One he has an opportunity to shine, we may see him in years to come get a crack at the Giro [d’Italia], the Vuelta or even the Tour de France — same sort of path as Richie.”
Final general classification, top results:
1. Chris Froome, GBR, Team Sky, 82:30:02
2. Vincenzo Nibali, ITA, Bahrain-Merida, +2:15
11. Esteban Chaves, COL, Orica-Scott, +16:46
34. Adam Yates, GBR, Orica-Scott, +1:39:51
44. Simon Yates, GBR, Orica-Scott, +2:02:43
21. Jack Haig, AUS, Orica-GreenEdge, +1:04:48
74. Simon Clarke, AUS, Cannondale-Drapac, +3:07:58
90. Lachlan Morton, AUS, Dimension Data, +3:32:57
95. Adam Hansen, AUS, Lotto Soudal, +3:37:11
111. Nick Schultz, AUS, Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, +3:55:40
113. Brendan Canty, AUS, Cannondale-Drapac, +3:57:55
121. Chris Hamilton, AUS, Team Sunweb, +4:12:42
140. Aaron Gate, NZL, Aqua Blue Sport, +4:40:07
143. Sam Bewley, NZL, Orica-GreenEdge, +4:43:27
153. Thomas Scully, NZL, Cannondale-Drapac, +4:56:59
157. William Clarke, AUS, Cannondale-Drapac, +5:03:10
DNS – Stage 16, Rohan Dennis, AUS, BMC Racing
DNS – Stage 12, George Bennett, NZL, LottoNL-Jumbo