– What happened? –
A series of consistent performances on the climbs has seen Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) become leader of the Vuelta Ciclista a España.
Eighth after the Vuelta a España’s first major summit finish, the Alto de Alfacar on stage four, Yates moved into the lead on stage nine, a trek through the mountains of western Spain finishing on the Alto de La Covatilla, where he took ninth.
Former leader Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) struggled on the exposed slopes of La Covatilla climb to finish more than six minutes behind, allowing Yates to take over at the top of the Vuelta’s GC classification.
Yates already led the Giro d’Italia earlier this year for nearly two weeks, making him one of just two riders, together with Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing Team), to head two Grand Tours this season.
As the Grand Tour reached its first rest day on September 3rd, Yates has a slender advantage of one second over Spain’s Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team), winner of two uphill stages in this year’s race at Caminito del Rey and Almaden. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) is in third place, 14 seconds back.
Also making a name for himself is American Ben King (Team Dimension Data) after victory in both of the Vuelta a España’s major summit finishes. King outsprinted Nikita Stalnov (Astana Pro Team) at the Alto de Alfacar on stage four for Team Dimension Data’s first UCI WorldTour win of 2018, then doubled his and his team’s score five days later with a spectacular solo victory on La Covatilla.
– What’s on? –
Saturday August 25th - Sunday September 16th: Vuelta Ciclista a España
Friday September 7th - Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec (CAN)
Sunday September 9th - Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal (CAN)
– Photo of the week –
– Focus on Reinardt Janse van Rensburg –
Born in Pretoria, South Africa, 29 years ago, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg has been a keen racer since the age of 10, when he had to lie about his age to take part in his first ever event. At 13, he got his first real bike for Christmas, since when he has steadily risen through the cycling categories, turning pro in 2010. After 14 wins on the UCI Continental Circuits in 2012, he was snapped up by Netherlands squad Argos-Shimano for two years. However, Janse van Rensburg then moved back to his first professional team, MTN-Qhubeka in 2015 - now Team Dimension Data - and has remained with the South African squad ever since.
A gifted all-rounder, although he has never won a UCI WorldTour race, Janse van Rensburg has won world-wide, with triumphs ranging from stages in the Tour du Maroc, Herald Sun Tour, Tour de Langkawi and Tour of Portugal to the Binche-Chimay-Binche Classic in Belgium. He has also raced and finished the Tour four times.
Follow Reinardt on Instagram.