Remco Evenepoel leads the mountains classification with five days to go.
The final week of the season’s last Grand Tour resumed Tuesday afternoon with a short stage, just 120 kilometers in length from Liencres Playa to Bejes, where a 4.8km climb averaging 8.8% was supposed to serve as an appetizer for the high mountains that are still to come before Madrid.
On paper, it was a day suited to a breakaway, that’s why dozens of riders tried to book their place in one. Early in the stage, with some help from Remco Evenepoel, Louis Vervaeke joined a strong six-man move, but with their maximum gap hitting just 40 seconds, the peloton had no trouble in bringing them back.
Soudal Quick-Step continued to remain active, this time with Mattia Cattaneo, the Italian joining with 80 kilometers to go a move that looked promising. At one point, they managed to take their advantage close to two minutes, but a change of pace at the front of the bunch spelled the end of their hopes before the ascent, where Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) attacked and took the win.
Remco Evenepoel remained in the KOM jersey, and will carry a 30-point advantage over his closest opponent during Wednesday’s stage to the mythical Angliru, which returns after three years.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images