La Vuelta a Espana #10: Sprinters take the spoils

Elia Viviani (Quickstep-Floors) claimed his second win of La Vuelta a Espana by outsprinting Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) on today’s stage 10 of the race.

After the summit finish of La Covatilla, the peloton enjoyed the first rest day of the race yesterday, before a relatively flat day of racing for stage 10 today. The stage contained only one category three climb, so the 177km stage saw a break of two riders being controlled by the sprinters teams until the catch was made with 30km to go.

Another solo attack was neutralised in the final 9kms of racing and from there, the sprint teams got to work, jostling for position. With Louis Meintjes safely in the main pack, Ryan Gibbons was up front and eager to contest the mass sprint.

The final lead in saw the sprint train of Quickstep lead proceedings for Viviani, with Sagan on his wheel. Gibbons managed to position himself on the World Champion’s wheel with 1.5km to go but an attack from Lukas Postleberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) then caused a reaction from the peloton, and the reshuffling of positions.

In the end, Gibbons was squeezed for space and when the sprint opened up he was too far back to contest for the victory, rolling home in 15th place on the stage.

Bingen Fernandez – Sport Director
Today was a rather straight forward sprint day. A small break went clear and immediately the sprinters teams started to control. Our objective was to take care of Louis Meintjes, protect his GC position from any possible crosswind splits and then Ryan Gibbons had the green light for the sprint finale. There were no problems for Louis today, finishing safely in the bunch. Ryan was in the mix again and had the wheel of Sagan with 1.5km to go. Normally that is a good wheel to have but the problem is 15 other guys also want that wheel. In the fight he got squeezed against the barriers and lost positions when he had to brake. Unfortunately that is the business of sprinting sometimes, he is riding well though and will have another chance.