Sunday 21 January 2018

Cycling: Velits' time trial triumph

Vincenzo Nibali reclaimed the lead in the Vuelta a Espana as Peter Velits won yesterday's individual time trial in Penafiel, his first stage win of the season.

Team Columbia rider Velits was 12 seconds quicker than nearest challenger Denis Menchov and lies third overall, now within two minutes of leader Nibali.

Italian Nibali stands 38 seconds clear of Spain's Ezequiel Mosquera after 17 of the 21 stages.

Nicolas Roche finished down in 38th place and drops from fifth to eighth overall after being overtaken by Velits, Xavier Tondo and Thomas Danielson.

"This is is my first victory in a time trial," said Slovakian Velits, "And to be able to do that in the Vuelta is something almost unbelievable.

"It's a big, but very nice surprise for both me and the team.

"I knew the key would be going all out in the return section, where there was a strong tailwind and I was able to make most of the difference there.

"Seeing Tom Danielson ahead of me on the road and slowly closing the gap on him really boosted my morale, too, and I could keep up a high pace."

Britain's Mark Cavendish leads the points standings on 111, 18 clear of KAT's Joaquin Rodriguez, with the 25 earned on the day by Nibali lifting him to fourth.

Irish Independent

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