After watching Kaden Groves sprint to his second stage win at the Vuelta a Espana, Dan Lloyd praised Alpecin-Deceuninck’s team-work and Filippo Ganna’s ride.
Groves was top of the pack as he pulled away with 200 metres to go after being assisted by his squad, but there was a surprise second spot for Ineos Grenadiers’ rider Ganna, who pushed on from way back to almost snatch first.
Instead, he took second place, and Lloyd praised Ganna’s efforts, which came as a surprise given his efforts on Tuesday’s stage where he assisted Ineos colleague Geraint Thomas.
He said: “He was incredibly close. We weren’t expecting him to be ready to go for the sprint today, yesterday on duty to keep Geraint Thomas safe.
“He came from a long way back, and he had a bit of a jump on Kaden Groves in terms of the speed he was carrying, but that meant he had to come from a long way out.
“Kept gaining on him towards the line but it wasn’t enough for him to come past. For a guy we don’t normally see do bunch sprints, that was impressive.”
Adam Blythe agreed, and added: “He’s built like a house. It’s a lot of fun seeing him and it’s unusual. He’s just come off the track, and he did a lot of preparation for the road TT, but he did the track before, you do a lot of speed, you get a lot of those fast twitch fibres going with those standing starts he’s doing.”
Turning to Groves’ success, the second consecutive stage that the Australian has won with a sprint finish, Lloyd credited his team for delivering him to the line on a day when other sprinters’ teams were not ready to co-operate on strategy.
He explained: “That team took full responsibility from start to finish. They didn’t get any help from the other sprinters teams in the early stages to control the breakaway, they got some help from the [General Classification] teams at the point they wanted to keep their leaders safe, but still had enough riders to do a proper leadout to deliver Groves with 200 metres to go to do his thing.”
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