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Dominik Nerz, like many of the other competitors, was exhausted after reaching the summit of Alto de L'Angliru. (Photo by Sean Weide, BMC Racing Team.)
Dominik Nerz, like many of the other competitors, was exhausted after reaching the summit of Alto de L'Angliru. (Photo by Sean Weide, BMC Racing Team.)

Vuelta a España, Stage 20: Nerz Sixth

14. september 2013

BMC Racing Team's Dominik Nerz continued his move up the overall standings at the Vuelta a España Saturday by finishing sixth on the hardest climb of the three-week race and moving into 14th overall.

'It Was Everybody For Themselves'
Nerz and teammate Ivan Santaromita, the Italian national road champion, were in an early breakaway of 35 riders that included the eventual stage winner, Kenny Elissonde (FDJ.fr). Elissonde soloed to the summit of the Alto de L'Angliru, a 12.2-kilometer climb at the end of the 142.2-km race, 26 seconds of race leader Chris Horner (RadioShack Leopard) and 54 seconds ahead of Nerz. "It was incredibly hard," Nerz said. "I thought today was the last chance to win a stage and I was so close. It was just too long for me." Nerz finished in a group of four which included Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team), who saw his deficit to Horner in the overall standings widen from three seconds to 37 on the penultimate day of the three-week race. BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Max Sciandri said he told Nerz even with a three-minute lead over the chasing group, the last climb would be a test of willpower. "I said to him to see what he could do and get going," Sciandri said. "It was everybody for themselves. I think he did a great job." Nerz, who finished fourth on Stage 16 after also being in a breakaway, gained one spot in the overall standings. He is 19:26 behind Horner.

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