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Martin Kohler arrived at the summit in fourth, his best result in a grand tour stage. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
Martin Kohler arrived at the summit in fourth, his best result in a grand tour stage. (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

Vuelta a España, Stage 18: Kohler Fourth

12. September 2013

BMC Racing Team's Martin Kohler enjoyed his best stage result in a grand tour with fourth-place on the Vuelta a España's mountain-top finish Thursday at Peña Cabarga.

Third Breakaway Of The Race
The past Swiss road and time trial champion was part of a 19-rider breakaway that led by more than 10 minutes at one point in the 186.5-kilometer race. "In the morning, when I saw the profile, I saw it was more downhill than uphill," Kohler said. "So I thought it was a good one for me. But in the end, it was too steep. The last two kilometers were sometimes like 20 percent." Kohler and a small group of survivors from the original escape were chasing solo stage winner Vasil Kiryienka (Sky Procycling) all the way up the 5.9-km climb that averaged 9.2 percent. BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri, who was following Kohler in the breakaway, said he preached a conservative approach. "On the climbs, I told Martin not to be afraid to sit on on the back, and always on the top of the climb to go up to the fourth or fifth position in case there were gaps on the descent," Sciandri said. "I think he did a great ride." Being a part of his third significant breakaway in the three-week race, Kohler said he knew Kiryienka could not be caught. But he was hoping for a podium finish. "(Third-place finisher) Adam Hansen attacked on the steep part and I followed him the first time," Kohler said. "But then he made a gap of 15 meters, 20 meters, 50 meters." Chris Anker Sörensen (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) was runner-up, 28 seconds behind, while Hansen (Lotto Belisol) finished at 1:18 and Kohler at 1:34. In the overall standings, Chris Horner (RadioShack Leopard) finished sixth and moved within three seconds of race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team) with three stages remaining.

Listen to complete comments from Kohler and Sciandri on the BMC Racing Team's Vuelta a España Audio Line.