La Vuelta Stage 12: Yates sets it up for Keukeleire

You'd be forgiven for thinking that today's stage was an easy one for the GC riders: at the end of the day the top ten remain exactly the same. But this is La Vuelta, remember? And those Vuelta organisers love chucking in a cheeky climb at the end of a stage to spice things up. That and the fact that a strong breakaway including the likes of Simon Yates involved, meant the big boys had to work hard to reel it in.

The finish was actually a flat one, but not before a steep climb on the outskirts of Bilbao smashed apart the organisation of most of the big teams, meaning that a classic lead out train for sprinters wasn't going to happen. It was Orica Bike Exchange and Simon Yates who set it up for their boy, Jens Keukeleire. You feel that Yates could have gone for the stage victory himself, so strong did he look, but he played the team game and opened it up for his Belgian teammate. Baby faced Yates is such a young rider but he shows such poise and understanding of how to race in a Grand Tours. This boy is going to go far.

Tomorrow will be the longest stage of the 2016 Vuelta, an exhausting leg breaker between Bilbao and the small Navarran locality of Urdax. 213.4km with four 3rd category climbs that will break up the group. This will be an opportunity for the bravest riders in this edition of the Vuelta to grit their teeth and not waste too much energy as they will surely need it the for the weekend which sees the riders tackle the Pyrenees including the legendary Aubisque.