David de la Cruz takes Vuelta lead with stage 9 solo win

Spaniard David de la Cruz (Etixx-QuickStep) has moved into the lead of his home Grand Tour with an impressive solo victory on stage 9 of the Vuelta a Espana.

Just three days after inking a contract renewal with his Belgian team, de la Cruz got into the the day’s 11-man escape group which built a lead of five minutes over the peloton. On the final descent, and with the 6km stage-ending climb looming, de la Cruz escaped from the break with Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling).

The two built a strong lead in the closing kilometres before de la Cruz attacked inside the final kilometre to take his maiden victory as a professional.

“After being injured and sidelined due to health problems many times in the past two years, this victory repays me for all the hard work and the team for the confidence showed,” de la Cruz said. “The key moment was when I was with Devenyns and found out that we have a consistent gap on the guys chasing us. Then I knew I can do it. It’s incredible to ride in a race against the best in the world – riders like Froome, Contador, Valverde or Quintana – and take this beautiful win.”

With erstwhile leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and the rest of the peloton finishing nearly three minutes down, de la Cruz slipped into the overall lead by 22 seconds. Today’s 10th stage, which features a 12km stage-ending ascent to Lagos de Covadonga, is the final stage before the first rest day.

Vuelta a Espana 2016 – stage 9 results (Cistierna – Alto del Naranco):

1 David de la Cruz (Etixx – Quick-Step)


2 Dries Devenyns (IAM)


3 Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Drapac)


4 Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana)


5 Mathias Frank (IAM)


6 Alexandre Geniez (FDJ)


7 Bartosz Huzarski (Bora-Argon 18)


8 Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)


9 Pello Bilbao (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)


10 Dylan Teuns (BMC)


11 Jan Bakelants (AG2R)


12 Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx – Quick-Step)


13 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)


14 Samuel Sanchez (BMC)


15 Christopher Froome (Sky)


16 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


17 Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange)


18 Alberto Contador (Tinkoff)


19 Michele Scarponi (Astana)


20 Leopold Konig (Sky)



General classification after stage 9:

1 David De La Cruz (Etixx – Quick-Step)


2 Nairo Quintana (Movistar)


3 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)


4 Christopher Froome (Sky)


5 Esteban Chaves (Orica-BikeExchange)


6 Leopold Konig (Sky)


7 Alberto Contador (Tinkoff)


8 Darwin Atapuma (BMC)


9 Gianluca Brambilla (Etixx – Quick-Step)


10 Samuel Sanchez (BMC)


11 Simon Yates (Orica-BikeExchange)


12 Daniel Moreno (Movistar)


13 Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac)


14 Michele Scarponi (Astana)


15 Peter Kennaugh (Sky)


16 Davide Formolo (Cannondale-Drapac)


17 Sergio Pardilla (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)


18 Kenny Elissonde (FDJ)


19 George Bennett (LottoNl-Jumbo)


20 Pierre-Roger Latour (AG2R)