Lilian Calmejane starts a new story

Vuelta 2016, stage threeIn a narrative sense, it helps if stage winners are already known, but of course new riders are appearing all the time otherwise we’d be watching a load of pensioners in these races.

Stage four was taken by Lilian Calmejane and I make no apologies for not knowing him, because no-one else knew the 23-year-old either. He was part of a large break containing a number of strong riders (Thomas De Gendt’s racing the Vuelta!) and he outrode them all.

Second place went to the Colombian, Darwin Atapuma, who takes the race lead. There’s probably a natural selection joke in there but I’m fairly confident I wouldn’t be the first to make it, so why bother? Previous leader, Ruben Fernandez – another who I didn’t know much about – apparently doesn’t like the longer climbs quite so much. He couldn’t stay with the group of favourites who pretty much finished together.

Stage five

No uphill finish today. However, even a sprint stage is uphill towards the line.

Today’s stage term is ‘magma intrusion’, the process whereby magma ascends through the crust. Pesky intrusive magma.

Vuelta 2016, stage five