Race report

GC riders do battle after incredibly fast day in the mountains

Vuelta a España

The famous finish atop Lagos de Covadonga awaited the peloton today, alongside two passages of the tough La Collada Llomena, making for a 185 kilometre test over the mountains and valley roads. It was a fierce start to the stage with multiple attacks at the front of the peloton, and several breakaways gaining small gaps over the peloton. Biding their time well, Team DSM waited for the opening foray of attacks to be reeled in on the opening climb of the day, where Romain Bardet took third place and gained another point in the King of the Mountains jersey battle.

Things then reset and the fighting continued before a large group got clear on the lower slopes of the first passage of La Collada Llomena with Nico Denz, Chris Hamilton, Michael Storer and Martijn Tusveld making the split for the team. It seemed as if the peloton was going to let them go, however half way up the ascent an increase in pace saw their gap dramatically decrease. Defending the KOM jersey well, Storer took maximum points over the top of the climb but the group was soon caught by the charging peloton on the flat valley roads as heavy rain began to fall.

The tempo stayed and high before it increased even further on the next passage of the climb and it was evident the GC riders would fight it out for the stage results. Conserving as much energy as possible for the battles to come, the team tactically dropped out of the peloton in the early kilometres, finding themselves in groups spread throughout the peloton, riding together until the finish line.

“It was a proper GC day,” explained Bardet at the finish. “We fought hard at the beginning to try and get in the breakaway but the pace was very high on the climb and it was clear the GC guys would fight it out. We did a good job as a team with Michael, Martijn, Nico and Chris at the front before it came back together, so there was not much else we could do today. We then just took it as easy as we could and we’ll try again in the next stages.”

Team DSM coach Matt Winston continued: “It was really good work again from the team. We got four guys in the break but it was clear pretty quickly that it was going to be a GC day. Michael took the points on top of the first category climb to keep the jersey safe and keep it on Romain. The guys then went as easy as possible to the finish so that we can recover and prepare for the coming days.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 ROGLIČ Primož Team Jumbo-Visma 4:34:45 100
2 KUSS Sepp Team Jumbo-Visma 1:35 40
3 LÓPEZ Miguel Ángel Movistar Team ,, 20
49 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM 26:32 -
50 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM ,, -
58 BARDET Romain Team DSM 26:43 -
64 STORER Michael Team DSM 30:05 -
76 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 35:26 -
98 DENZ Nico Team DSM 38:38 -
109 HAGA Chad Team DSM ,, -
148 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM 45:17 -