The Swiss took his sixth podium of the season.
Mauro Schmid confirmed the good shape that just last month brought him his second stage race success of his career at the Settimana Internazionale Coppi e Bartali, coming close to victory in Labastida.
The small town lying near the border with La Rioja hosted the finish of a race for the first time, and after a quiet day in the saddle it came down to a bunch sprint. Soudal Quick-Step controlled the last kilometers with the likes of Mattia Cattaneo, Rémi Cavagna, James Knox and Martin Svrcek, before Mauro hit the front in the final 100 meters, on the uphill drag to the line, launching a powerful sprint that netted him second, behind Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers).
“It was a good day. I wasn’t sure how my sprint legs would be, but the team believed in me and gave me this opportunity. When Rémi came to the front, he stretched out the whole bunch and this helped me be in a good position. Then I came round the last corner in third place, but I just ran out of road in the end. Overall, it’s a good start, after a fantastic job of the entire team”, Mauro said.
The race continues Tuesday with a hilly stage – the longest of the week – between Viana and Leitza, where an 11km climb that will be crested just five kilometers before the finish is expected to play a key role in the outcome.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images