This transition stage will end with a climb up the Collado Bermejo. It should favor a breakaway, although the last climb may see a large group fighting for victory. That same mountain pass will make it hard for sprinters to stay in touch for the finish.
Stage 10: Trentin takes two; Froome unflappable
“I really wanted this victory, I’ve been thinking about this stage for a long time because the climb was tricky but consistent; it was a climb I could handle,” said Trentin.
Matteo Trentin claimed his second stage win of the Vuelta a España in a 164.8km stage to Elpozo Alimentacion, Spain. The Quick-Step rider got into an early breakaway and out-sprinted Movistar’s JJ Rojas. Jaime Roson (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) came home third, frustrated to have missed a chance to race for the win.
Sky’s Chris Froome withstood an attack from Vincenzo Nibali on the descent off of Collado Bermejo, 20km from the finish, to keep his overall lead.
Stage 10, top 10
1. Matteo Trentin (ITA/QST), in 3h34:56.
2. José Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV), at 0:01.
3. Jaime Rosón (ESP/CJR) 0:19.
4. Jacques Janse Van Rensburg (RSA/DDT) 0:21.
5. Alexandre Geniez (FRA/ALM) 0:56.
6. Marc Soler (ESP/MOV) 0:59.
7. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/AST) 2:22.
8. Alessandro De Marchi (ITA/BMC) 2:22.
9. Arnaud Courteille (FRA/FDJ) 2:40.
10. Rafael Reis (POR/CJR) 3:05.
1. Christopher Froome (GBR/Sky), in 40h12:44.
2. Esteban Chaves (COL/ORI), at 0:36.
3. Nicolas Roche (IRL/BMC) 0:37.
4. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/BAH) 1:17.
5. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 1:27.
6. David De la Cruz (ESP/QST) 1:30.
7. Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) 1:33.
8. Michael Woods (CAN/CAN) 1:52.
9. Adam Yates (GBR/ORI) 1:55.
10. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/KAT) 2:15.
“I knew the downhill was super technical,” Trentin said. He followed Rojas over the top of the day’s category 1 climb. Roson and Jacques Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data) were right behind. However, Rojas knew the descent well and soon dropped everyone bar Trentin.
“It was good for me and Rojas in the front group,” said Trentin. “I was just following him. We could distance all the other guys down it.”
“That road is known for a number of crashes so I was a bit nervous,” Jacques van Rensburg added. “I was able to come back on a little kicker in the middle of the descent but then on the bottom part of the descent Trentin and Rojas went away again.”
Similarly, in the group of GC riders, Vincenzo Nibali attacked the descent after his Bahrain-Merida team set him up for the move. He got a slight lead, but it didn’t develop into a genuine opportunity to gain time in the overall.
As they rolled to the finish, BMC’s Nicolas Roche snuck away to finish 12th on the day. He picked up enough time to move into third overall, one second behind Orica-Scott’s Esteban Chaves, who is second.
“[Roche is] not necessarily a big worry for me. As I said I was happy to stay with my teammates,” Froome said. “I think Nico [Roche] did a great ride. He seems to be in fantastic shape for the Vuelta. He’s done a really good ride.”
Quick-Step Floors now has four stage wins at the Vuelta, an impressive haul following five stage wins in the Giro d’Italia and five at the Tour de France. Yves Lampaert won stage 2 and teammate Julian Alaphilippe was victorious in stage 8. When asked about this impressive record, Trentin laughed, “Yeah we have to do five!”
He won’t be a favorite to win Wednesday’s stage 11, however. The 187.5km run to Observatorio Astronómico de Calar Alto finishes with two Cat. 1 climbs in quick succession.