John Degenkolb is the fastest man in the Vuelta

Peter Sagan’s gone, Nacer Bouhanni’s gone and after a few kilometres of stage 10, stage five winner Caleb Ewan had gone as well. John Degenkolb was now clearly the fastest man left in the race and at the finish he proved it. Sadly for him, he made one slight error. He allowed Kristian Sbaragli a massive headstart.

Degenkolb passed any number of people during his sprint. Sbaragli probably only passed a couple, but being as he was much closer to the front of the peloton when he made his push for the line, he didn’t need to and he won the stage by a handful of centimetres.

I’ve no real idea who Kristian Sbaragli is, but being as he rides for MTN-Qhubeka, I presume he’s a sort-of-sprinter. All those guys who commentators talk about as being sprinters but who don’t win races – MTN-Qhubeka have them. They’re a team of sort-of-sprinters.

Sbaragli had two wins to his name before today, both of which came in marvellously obscure races back in 2012. Stage 10 of the 2015 Vuelta definitely outranks Trofeo Edil C and Trofeo G Bianchin. Why do they both have rogue letters floating in their names? I have no idea.

It’s a rest day tomorrow and the riders better make the most of it because Wednesday brings the staggeringly ominous stage 11. If we’re going to try and assess Tom Dumoulin’s climbing, we might as well do the job properly via the hardest mountain stage a Grand Tour has ever seen.


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