Vuelta a España: Devenyns features in the breakaway
The experienced Belgian came home in eighth place, his best result since the month of February.
After a remarkable start to the season, which saw him finish in the top 10 at the Tour Down Under, Cadel Evans Road Race and the Tour of Oman, Dries Devenyns' path took an unwanted U-turn, following an injury which resulted in a disc herniation with compression which required surgery and a lengthy rehab, that kept the 35-year-old sidelined until June.
Making just his second stage race appearance in two months at Vuelta a España, Dries played an important role in the two stage victories picked up by Elia Viviani in the first half of the event, before booking a place into a sizeable break which seized the day on the hilly stage 12, from Mondoñedo to Faro de Estaca de Bares (181.1km), the northernmost point of the Iberian Peninsula and home to a 170-year-old lighthouse still in use today.
Numbering 19 men, the group opened a gargantuesque 11-minute lead on the rolling and exposed terrain of Galicia and stayed together until the last 30 kilometers, in Ortigueira, where the breakaway splintered as attacks began to fly from the break. Dries Devenyns responded to those accelerations, making the cut and even setting the tempo, thus helping the group increase their advantage over the closest chasers to more than a minute, before the huge effort he had put it began taking a toll on him when a new series of attacks were launched and a small group emerged, from which Alexandre Geniez (AG2R) claimed the win.
Despite this, the end of the stage found the Belgian rider of Quick-Step Floors in high spirits, after his eighth place in Faro de Estaca de Bares: "During this morning's briefing, we talked about the breakaway's chances of going all the way, so when it formed I jumped immediately. We worked well together, but in the end, when the crucial move went, I was on my limits, and the strong headwind didn't help my cause. Nevertheless, I got a decent result and I can even say that I am happy with what I did after the hard months I had."
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