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Simone Consonni earns second top 5 finish at La Vuelta for UAE Team Emirates

The team’s leader, Fabio Aru, was also able to finish ahead of many of his GC rivals and climb another three spots in the standings to 13th

Sport360 staff 2018/08/31

Hard work paid off for UAE Team Emirates and Simone Consonni, with the Italian gaining a second top five finish at the Vuelta a Espana on Thursday.

It was another hot and hard day in the saddle for the side as they battled through Stage 6. The graft paid off with Consonni building on his fifth place finish earlier in the week with an impressive fourth on the stage.

The team’s leader, Fabio Aru, was also able to finish ahead of many of his GC rivals and climb another three spots in the standings to 13th.

The 150.7km route from Huercal Overa to San Javier Mar Menor was set up for the sprinters, with an early breakaway being gradually reeled in by the peloton and swallowed up with 28km to go.

A crash at the 25km mark split the pack and separated many of the UAE Team Emirates’ riders – who were all able to stay on their bikes and avoid injury.

Aru was kept safe at the front of the peloton and, along with Sven Erik Bystrom and Consonni, made the front group after the split.

The leading riders pushed hard in the final kilometres to distance themselves from the chasers, but the UAE riders were more than equal to the challenge.

Consonni, the team’s sprinter, continued to work hard through a technical run in to the finish and drove his way past a string of rivals to take fourth place. The stage was eventually won by Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) in 3:58:35”.

Commenting on his race, Consonni, 23, said: “I’m pretty satisfied because I succeeded in being in the lead group when the bunch was split, that was a great chance and I’m happy I could exploit it.

“Unfortunately I did not manage the approach to the final roundabout as well as I could have. I was not in the best position when Quick-Step Floors launched the sprint, but because it was pretty early, it allowed me to overtake some riders and get closer to a podium finish.”

Fellow Italian Aru, discussing his performance, said: “The final part of the stage suddenly became demanding because of the crash and the wind. Bystrom was impressive in managing the situation and he helped me to be in the lead group when the peloton was split.

“It was an important moment and we were ready to react. Consonni too was with us and he also succeeded in achieving a good result in the sprint, which demonstrates he’s riding well in a tough Vuelta.

“I only had one mechanical to overcome – with 40km to go a rider knocked into my gears, but I managed to reach the finish line safely, my bike is strong.”

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Fabio Aru Simone Consonni UAE Team Emirates Vuelta a Espana