Vuelta 2018: FINAL KM STAGES 1-9

A week packed with some spicy stage finishes, three riders slipping the red jerset around their shoulders and some unexpected and joyful stage victories. All characteristics that make a great Vuelta – we LOVE it.  Here’s a quick rundown from stages one to nine.
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Vuelta 2018: Stage 5 – Clarke wins stage, Molard moves into red

Another so-called Vuelta sprint stage – this time with over 2,500m of vertical gain from the Moorish grandeur of Granada down to the coast. Victory came from a three-up sprint for the line between riders who’d initially been part of the day’s large break. Simon Clarke (EF-Drapac) prevailed ahead of Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) and Alessandro De Marchi (BMC) to take his team’s first WorldTour win of the season. The trio’s cat-and-mousing in the final kilometres meant they were almost caught by the threesome in red-hot pursuit, which contained Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) who crucially finished 4:47 ahead of race leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky), sufficient to take the race lead and red jersey by 1:01. It’s the first time in 13 years that an FDJ rider has worn a race leader’s jersey in a Grand Tour. Break out the champagne!

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Vuelta a Espana 2016: Stage 7 – Victory for Van Genechten

In a dramatic finale Jonas van Genechten powered out of the bunch to take the biggest win of his career and deliver a triple crown of Grand Tour stage wins for IAM Cycling. With a two man breakaway swept up in the last metres, the Belgian easily out-sprinted Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). A crash in the final corner saw Alberto Contador hit the tarmac. Times were neutralised for the GC contenders held up in the aftermath, and Darwin Atapuma (BMC) remains in the red jersey.

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