Henao eighth on queen stage

07 Apr 2017

Henao eighth on queen stage

Related riders

Sergio Henao finished a creditable eighth on the queen stage at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco after an all-action day out in the Basque Country.

With six categorised climbs squeezed into the 140 kilometre stage five fireworks were expected and the race didn’t disappoint, with numerous attacks firing on the final climb.

Henao was able to respond on the early slopes, matching the efforts of Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), but the Colombian was distanced inside the final 3km.

He battled hard to regain contact with the small lead group but in the end came home 15 seconds back on stage winner Valverde, who beat Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) and Rigoberto Uran (Cannonade-Drapac) in a sprint to the line.

That result moves Henao up to eighth overall, 15 seconds back on Valverde.

Michal Kwiatkowski suffered a mechanical issue on the penultimate climb but got back to the peloton, before losing touch with the elite climbing group as the paced ramped up on the brutal final climb. He came home two minutes back to slip out of GC contention.

Speaking after the stage Kwiatkowski expressed his disappointment at the result, but believes the tough day of climbing will stand him in good stead for the Ardennes Classics.

He said: "I would be more than happy if I had climbed the final climb the way I chased the group after my earlier mechanical.

"It was a brutal stage, especially for me - but maybe getting a whipping was something I needed before the Ardennes!"

The Pole went on to pay tribute to the region's fans, who have brought lots of colour to the race over the last few days.

He added: "Thanks again for great support on the climbs. The fans are brilliant here!"