In a dramatic day of racing at the Vuelta Nairo Quintana stretched his lead over Chris Froome to over three and a half minutes today. In a Movistar masterstroke, the little Colombian broke away with his team mates from the peloton early in the stage with the help of Gianluca Brambilla and Alberto Contador who also gained valuable time at the end of the day.
Froome was left floundering as his Sky domestiques were nowhere to be seen. Isolated, and in the chasing group, Froome was never going to catch up the red jersey and his old adversary, Contador. The Spaniard won most aggressive rider of the day after pushing hard and widening the gap between the breakaway and the peloton.
The stage was won in the end by Brambilla who had been one of the key instigators of the breakaway. Quintana's lead now looks unassailable. He's been trying to increase the time gap between him and Froome for days in the knowledge that he'll lose time on the Time Trial later this week. It didn't happen on the high mountains but he's succeeded on what might have been an otherwise innocuous day. He'll be thanking his mates in Movistar for their intelligent and aggressive riding.
Carlton Kirby quote of the day: "Contador keeps flicking his elbow out like a dodgy dad dance."