The champion of the World sub 23 in 2012 premiered his record in a big thanks to an ascent that his rivals could not answer. He raised his arms in 4h.24.58 with 42 seconds ahead of the Eritrean Merhawi Kudus (Dimension Data) his immediate pursuers.
The favorites were faced after a Froome attack that only Alberto Contador, Colombian Esteban Chaves (Orica) and Canadian Michael Woods (Cannondale) responded. The Madrilenian offered a positive version and led the group, which in turn put time to some favorites of the Vuelta.
Froome endorsed Van Garderen 8 seconds, Adam Yates 11, Fabio Aru and Zakarin, 21 to David de la Cruz, who fell from the podium, 26 to Nibali and 49 to Bardet. Unbundled, but significant differences, which explain that Froome and Chaves are called to stellar duel and the rest to the opposition group.
Froome left the leader of the first arrival aloft. 10 and Chaves follow Van Garderen to 11 seconds. De la Cruz moves away to 23, fifth and first Spaniard, Nibali to 36, Aru to 49, Yates to 50 and Bardet to 1.37. First exam in one of the 9 high end of the 72nd edition of the Vuelta, an unpublished wall as judge and a handful of favorites called to battle on ramps as unpublished as impossible, those who climb faster than riding .
The route did not offer a break, from the beach of Benicassim, where tourists left only a handful of free sand on the beach, to the Ermita de Santa Lucia, a route with 3,000 meters of accumulated difference and five ports. The Eritrean Kudus and the leader of the mountain, the Italian Villella (Cannondale), bent on defending his jersey of blue points of leader of the mountain. Then there was a truce in the pursuit. Villella sang bingo at all levels.
In addition, it decided the Sky to deliver the stage to the men of the advanced one and to negotiate aside the battle of the general between the cocks. They left Haller and Lutsenko 6 minutes apart, the first to jump and the chasing group with Soler, Kudus, Alaphilippe, Gougeard, Mohoric. With 7 minutes to 16 of goal, the winner would leave the escape.
Lutseko left with Kudus, who finished off putting the front wheel on the ascent to St. Lucia, white and Mediterranean church on a hill, a port “denomination of origin Vuelta”, short but bully. The Kazakh went alone and alone he delighted in his first great victory. The patron guided the British, illuminated Contador, determined not to retire early and the Colombian Chaves, willing to be the shadow of the winner of the Tour.