More drama at the Vuelta yesterday as Alberto Contador crashed in the last few hundred metres leaving him with injuries down the left side of his body, including on his calf. Visibly angry, he complained that he had been cut off by a rider in front, despite being well placed.
With few sprinters in the race the GC contenders are skittish in these sprint finishes, desperate not to lose any time. Unlike the Tour de France they’re positioning themselves near the front when normally they would hold back and let the lead out trains and their sprinters take over.
The stage was won in the end by Jonas van Genechten of IAM, a team who are all working hard to impress future employers as it folds at the end of the season. The order of the top GC placings remains unchanged with Atapuma retaining the red jersey for another day, although Valverde gained four valuable bonus seconds on him, as well as stretching his lead over Froome to 34 seconds.
Today sees the peloton roll through a relatively flat stage until they reach the Vuelta’s first Category 1 summit finish on La Camperona with slopes of up to 20% gradient. Contador will be hoping that the injuries he suffered yesterday don’t affect his performance on the first true mountain stage. Expect to see some changes in the placings by the end of the day: it could be a spectacular finish.