It can be hard to get round John Degenkolb
It was another sprint finish and another John Degenkolb win. Nacer Bouhanni managed to stay in the front group, but couldn’t get round the German at the finish. Bouhanni says this was because Degenkolb was in his way. More accurately, he tried to overtake where there was little room when he could just as easily have gone the other side.
Perhaps subconsciously he was giving himself an excuse. Or maybe it was just a momentary attack of bone-headedness during the freneticism.
The more interesting part of the stage came about 40km earlier when Alberto Contador and two team-mates rushed to the front and lifted the pace. They timed this with a crosswind and the peloton ended up being split into three. As it turned out, no major contenders were caught out, but it was hard to judge this until the finish. A couple of outsiders lost minutes, including Ryder Hesjedal and Andrew Talanksy.
Carlos Betancur watch
As you might imagine, Betancur wasn’t anywhere near the front when the peloton split. He has now slipped below British rider Luke Rowe and is second-to-last overall.
The Vuelta does what the Vuelta does best – an uphill finish. Here’s the profile. That last climb’s steep. The general classification contenders should come to the fore and on recent evidence Dan Martin’s worth watching on a finish like this.