BORA - hansgrohe concluded the Vuelta a España with the victory of Lennard Kämna on stage 9, who with that also achieved the Grand Tour triple, his second place on stage 15, the third place of Nico Denz on the final stage and two GC top-10 places with Aleksandr Vlasov and Grand Tour debutant Cian Uijtdebroeks.
Sports Director Bernie Eisel and four of our riders look back on the three weeks of racing in Spain:
The last three weeks were a bit up and down and that also is reflected in the results. We had expected a bit more, but we are satisfied. It was a nice stage win by Lenni, who also finished second on another stage despite his late crash. That is an incredible result. We fought our way through technically in the overall standings, although some of our riders were perhaps also a bit hampered due to health reasons. Otherwise, the shared leadership between Aleks and Cian worked well. The atmosphere in the team was, as expected from the "Band of Brothers", also good during these long three weeks. On the penultimate stage we had expected something more, but unfortunately it didn't quite work out. There was no chance for us in Madrid, so we tried to enjoy the parade in Madrid on the final laps."- Bernie Eisel
"Of course for me the highlight of my Vuelta performance was my stage win on Stage 9. It was a pretty hectic day with all the echelons, and I was pleased to have been able to make it into the break and eventually pull away. I had worked pretty hard in the past few months in the leadup to this, and it wasn't necessarily after the Giro with a few setbacks, so it was a rewarding result for sure. Then there was of course Stage 15, when I was yet again in the break, and then leading the race, only to crash just ahead of the finale. It was a disappointment to not be able to finish off that performance with another stage win, but I was right up there and had it not been for the crash, I would have had a very good chance. I gave it one last go on the penultimate stage, where I made it into the break again. The legs were good there, but just not good enough to make the decisive move. All in all, my Vuelta performances this year were encouraging and definitely give me confidence. Thanks as well to my teammates for their support on the road, and also to the staff that accompanied us the past few weeks for all that they do." -Lennard Kämna
"I'm pretty pleased with how my first Grand Tour went. It wasn't an easy one for sure, but I came here expecting that. We can all definitely feel the legs after three weeks of racing, and I have to say that I didn't have the best start, with saddle soreness issues and then becoming a bit sick. But I pushed through and gave my best and produced a good performance. I have to say it wasn't easy to get through those days, I really had to grit my teeth and block the pain out of my mind, so it's good to finally cross the big finish line in Madrid. It quickly became cleat that Jumbo Visma was going to dominate the race, and in the face of that, I tried to ride sensibly and not go over the limit to chase down their attacks. I think that was the best way to manage the race situation. In the end, we succeeded in our goal of taking a top ten result, and to finish eighth is a really solid ride of which I can be pleased. I'm looking forward to seeing how I can continue to improve from here onwards and build on this performance in the future. Thanks to my teammates as well, not just for their support on the road, but also for the advice they've given me on how to take on such a big race. And of course last but not least, thanks to the team staff as well, I really appreciate your support over these past weeks."- Cian Uijtdebroeks
"A top ten in a Grand Tour is always a solid performance. After having to leave the Giro earlier this year, I wanted to give my best and have another go, and coming here I was in pretty good form, with strong results at San Sebastian and the Vuelta a Burgos in particular. This was for sure not an easy Vuelta, with so many riders competing here also in good form. Unfortunately, I have to say that I didn't have the best start to the race, as I fell a bit sick, which made performing at the level I had envisaged that extra bit tougher. Nevertheless, every mountain stage was about sticking with the GC group, which I did pretty well. It's obvious that Jumbo Visma was dominant in the race, and all we can do in that situation is our best, to ride like we had planned, and give everything we had. Big thanks to everyone in the team for their support, as always, it wouldn't have been possible without your support."- Aleksandr Vlasov
"This was my third Vuelta, a race that I usually really like competing in. We knew heading into the race that it wouldn't be easy, and compared to last year's parcours, for example, it was even more demanding. I had a more free role in the team here, which I was quite looking forward to. However, in the end I wasn't able to make it into the decisive moves or breakaways, which is something that I would have liked to have done. I'm sure there will be new opportunities coming, where we'll see where we can improve on this performance here to produce some strong results. But we'll take this as an experience, and I must say it was good to be able to support the rest of my team to finish with two riders in the top ten and also a stage win." - Sergio Higuita