A 100km criterium in Madrid before sunset.
Mas y mas: a frenetic stage with Thomas de Gendt starring on the first climbs as he stitched up the mountains jersey. A break went but Astana led the peloton to set up a move by Miguel Angel Lopez and sure enough the Colombian went with 40km to go and he had two team mates up the road waiting for him. He never got much of a gap and minutes later Lopez’s move looked to have flopped, he was caught and Astana had used up their riders. At least they tried was the immediate thought. Moments later Nairo Quintana jumped on the climb of La Comella and a refreshed Lopez got across to him. The pair began to pull out a lead and over the top of the climb Simon Yates took off with only Enric Mas willing or able to follow which meant the riders fourth and fifth overall taking time on those second and third overall. It was a tense finish for many with Lopez and Mas marking each other, if Lopez got a small gap and the stage win then he’d overtake Mas on GC while lower down the mountain calculations were being made for Kruijswijk and Valverde although it was soon apparently they were going to fall off the podium places on GC. In the end Mas sprinted for the stage and celebrated like he’d won the Vuelta and worlds combined but you could see why, he’d climbed on the podium with Lopez too. Impressive by Mas to triumph in a hard mountain stage and also for Lopez to collect his second podium in a grand tour this year. Lower down the mountain Simon Yates rolled in for third place having paced himself up the climb and allowed himself a smile too.
The Route: out of Alcorcon, through Getafe and then laps of the circuit in Madrid, big boulevards with 180° bends at each end including one with a kilometre to go.
The Contenders: it’s hard to see past Elia Viviani, once again he’s been strong in this race and has a great lead out train.
This could be Peter Sagan’s last outing in the rainbow jersey after a three year rainbow spell. He should be close and must be confident otherwise he’d not have hauled himself over the Pyrenees of late. We’ll see Giacomo Nizzolo
|Nizzolo, van Poppel|
Weather: warm and sunny, 31°C.
Tune in: the finish is forecast for 8.00pm CEST.