A confusing, exciting stage.
Up front in the eight man break, things were dramatic. At the base of the final climb, the Collado de la Cruz de Caravaca, they had five minutes on the red jersey group. Victory would clearly go to one of them.
It turned out to be Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) who jumped away and held off Matteo Sobrero (Jayco-AlUla) and Chris Hamilton (dsm-firmenich) for take his first Vuelta a Espana win. Now he has the grand tour trifecta to go with his Tour and Giro triumphs. You can retire now Lennard and feel good about your career.
The GC battle turned into an unexpected stalemate. GC times were taken at 2.05km from the finish, so the toughest sections of the summit finish were neutralized. Other than an attack by Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe), nobody thought the difficulty of the climb was worth a maximal effort to gain time.
Those expecting fireworks on the Caravaca de la Cruz were in for a rude surprise. Jumbo Visma and Soudal Quickstep said to themselves, rest day, tomorrow, let’s start relaxing right now. And that’s exactly what they did.
Sepp Kuss (Jumbo Visma) has a nice 43 cushion over Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) and a minute on Lenny Martinez (Groupama FDJ). Remco Evenepoel climbs to fourth place 2:20 back. Meanwhile the Jumbo tag team of Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard and in 6th and 7th, roughly 8 seconds behind Evenepoel.
Okay, everybody go rest. You’ve earned it. Have some tapas and if you’re Jumbo, maybe more champagne.