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BMC Racing Team's Martin Kohler (center) helped drive the breakaway at times for teammate Dominik Nerz (just behind). (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)
BMC Racing Team's Martin Kohler (center) helped drive the breakaway at times for teammate Dominik Nerz (just behind). (©BMC/Tim De Waele.)

Vuelta a España, Stage 16: Nerz Fourth

9. September 2013

BMC Racing Team's Dominik Nerz rode to a season-best fourth-place result on Monday's mountain-top finish at the Vuelta a España after riding in the breakaway with teammate Martin Kohler.

Missing Power For The Finish
Kohler, Nerz and about 18 other riders were finally given a bit of freedom by the peloton with about 50 kilometers remaining in the 146.8-km race. When a two-minute advantage turned into three, it was clear the escape group would survive to the finish. "It was great that Dominik and I were together in the breakaway," Kohler said, "so I did a bit more work so he could save a bit. Whenever it was flat, I was going full gas to keep the gap or make it bigger." As the gradient of the 15.8-km climb to the finish began to steepen, Nerz was among those in a small group chasing solo leader Warren Barguil (Team Argos-Shimano). Rigoberto Uran (Sky Procycling) caught Barguil in the final kilometer as Nerz and Bartosz Huzarski (Team NetApp-Endura) closed the gap to the pair in the last 200 meters. But Barguil accelerated and out-sprinted Uran to win his second stage. Huzarski was third and Nerz finished alone, eight seconds later to move up one spot – to 16th overall. "The problem was that the last two days were really hard for me," Nerz said. "Maybe that was the bit of power that I was missing for the victory. I thought I could close the gap, but it was a really strong headwind in the last 300 meters. Then the guy from NetApp caught me back and then my morale was completely gone. It's a bit sad because it's not every day you have a chance to win a stage like this." BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Yvon Ledanois said less work by Nerz might have led to a different finish. "You saw that Barguil was always in the last position earlier in the breakaway and look at the result," he said. "I think it is a good and a bad experience for Dominik for the future."

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