It was a case of deja vu of stage 2 as Esteban Chaves lit up today’s final few kilometres once again, with Tom Dumoulin, Dan Martin and Nico Roche in hot pursuit. But the young Colombian kept his nerve on the steep climb to the finish for another popular victory – and enough time to take the red jersey back after one day in the possession of Dumoulin.
Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEDGE) delivered what he has been threatening all season, his first WorldTour victory, at a Grand Tour to boot, and showing a clean pair of heels to John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin) and Peter Sagan (Tinkoff-Saxo). The uphill finish produced some splits in the peloton allowing Tom Dumoulin to snatch the overall lead by just one second.
It was a long, long stage today at 209km with almost all of the action happening in the last 5km. But Alejandro Valverde kept a cool head while all around him were frenzied and with 200m to go, ‘I knew that this was my victory’. Peter Sagan couldn’t double up on his win yesterday but he did add to his tally of second places.