Esteban Chaves may have been the surprise early leader in the Vuelta a Espana, but on stage 6 he showed the cycling world that he is a man with whom to be reckoned. The Columbian attacked a select group of riders on the steep final climb, going on to win the stage and move back into the red leader's jersey. Chaves now holds a ten second advantage over Tom Dumoulin.
Chaves said after his second stage win, "I can’t believe I’ve won."
"It was a long, hot, hard stage today. I’m really happy and I want to thank all the team and staff again, they’re all amazing. Caleb Ewan won yesterday but today he went for bottles. This team is like a family.”
“Neil Stephens told me about the climb and said it was really steep, at 10 per cent and even one part at 14 per cent. “Darryl Impey put me in a really good position and I started the climb in first position. I saw Amador suffering as he pushed the pace. When I saw that he wasn't comfortable, I tried and went for it."
See also: Backstage Pass from Stage 1
Even Tom Dumoulin who lost his red jersey after Chaves' great victory was full of praise. "What a race Chaves did. Even better than Sunday."
"I didn't expect him to go so early. He went at the very right moment and I didn't have the legs to follow."
The win is the second for Chaves and the third in six stages for Orica-GreenEDGE following 21-year-old Caleb Ewan’s win yesterday. Orice-GreenEDGE have dominated the first week of the Vuelta a Espana, making up for a nightmare Tour de France.
As always, special thanks to Graham Watson for the shot of Chaves!