Jersey swap: the Vuelta red jersey of race leader passes from Sky’s Chris Froome to his captain, Bradley Wiggins.
On the final mountain climb, Froome struggled to hold wheels and Jacob Fuglsang (Leopard-Trek) failed to make the front group.
Advantage Wiggins, who takes over the top spot on GC, seven seconds ahead of Froome with Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) another four ticks back. This means a sip of champagne and the Sex Pistols at high volume in the Sky bus.
The 171km stage of the Helta Skelta Vuelta from Verin to Estación de Montaña Manzaneda had the usual fireworks. Frenchman David Moncoutie — who loves the Vuelta like most of his countrymen adore the Tour de France — made the big break today and attacked up the 19km climb.
He won the stage by 1:18 ahead of Beñat Intxausti (Movistar) and Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank). Chapeau and sexy sexy girls on the podium. Twisted Spoke thinks we spotted Moncoutie’s wife in Paris at the end of the Tour and she was a stylish and sophisticated minx. Bravo David.
“I had studied the course well, and planned where to attack on the last climb,” he said. “I was thinking about this stage for a while, and after falling short at Sierra Nevada, another finish that I like, I’ve managed to do it.”
It was a rough day however, for Fast Freddy Rodriguez who started the Vuelta today after flying directly from Colorado after the US Pro Cycling Challenge. Starting with a massive 38 minute deficit and without a team for support, the American sprinter lost more time, falling another 5 minutes behind race leader Wiggins.