Vuelta a Espana 2017 : Stage 10 – Trentin doubles up while Roche goes stealth

It was one of the fastest stages so far in the Vuelta 2017 and, other than an escapee’s win and a stealth move from a GC contender, pretty uneventful. Matteo Trentin kept the Quick-Step winning streak going by taking his second stage of this Vuelta from the break and taking back the points jersey from Chris Froome. For all the twisting and turning on the technical descent, the GC didn’t change – well, not in positions, but one rider made up a whole hatful of seconds …

Rider of the Race

And he is my Rider of the Race. He’s been the Master of Invisibility this GT, which worked in Nico Roche‘s favour today. Even though the Irish rider has been sitting in third for most of the Vuelta so far, he’s had hardly any camera time, what with the roller coaster ride of a race by his BMC teammate and co-captain, Tejay van Garderen. This invisibility certainly gave him the advantage today on the descent into the finish. With Vincenzo Nibali making his shark attack on the descent that everyone knew he would make, it was Roche he followed him at speed.

Then, somewhere in the trees, while Carlton Kirby and Sean Kelly were talking about the danger of leaf mulch, Roche passed Nibali, who was caught by the red jersey group almost at the bottom of the descent. Perhaps it was the fact that most of the pictures were helicopter shots from high above the treetops (the motorbikes just couldn’t quite keep up with the fast descent) so that the team cars didn’t know he was out there, or he really does have an invisibility cloak, but no one saw him again until the finish line – and even then we missed him coming in!

It was a good day. It wasn’t really the plan to go on the descent until I saw Vincenzo opening a gap. I tried to get around the other GC riders, then came onto Vincenzo, then opened up a bit of gap, and I said ‘let’s go, see what happens’.

Heads up!

Embed from Getty Images

The big loser in this magic trick was Esteban Chaves, as Nico made up 29sec on the Colombian to be in a virtual tie (but remains in third place). While Chaves has, for the most part, been able to stick to Froome’s wheel (with a few notable exceptions), he still doesn’t seem to have that bright spark we saw in last year’s Giro and Vuelta. Let’s hope he’s just working his way into fitness and will find his fighting spirit later this week. But I bet he’s now keeping a steady eye on one Nico Roche …

A final shark attack 

Results

Top 5 stage 

1 Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) 3:34:56

2 JJ Rojas (Movistar) +0:01

3 Jaime Roson (Caja Rural-Seguros) +0:19

4 Janse van Rensburg (Dimension Data) +0:21

5 Alexandre Geniez +0:56

Top 5 GC 

1 Chris Froome  (Sky) 40:12:44

2 Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) +0:36

3 Nicolas Roche (BMC) same time

4 Vicenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida) +1:17

5 Tejay van Garderen (BMC) +1:27

All the jerseys

Leader: Chris Froome (Sky)

Points: Matteo Trentin

KOM: Davide Villella (Cannondale-Drapac)

Combined: Chris Froome (Sky)

Team Classification: Movistar

Most Aggressive Rider: Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors)

For race reviews, go to CyclingNews; official La Vuelta website is here

Header image: Matteo Trentin ©GETTY/AFP/Jose Jordan 

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