La Vuelta a España Stage 14: Brambilla Top Finisher on Alto Campoo
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Gianluca Brambilla finished 39th, moving to 11th in the GC, in the longest stage of La Vuelta a España on Saturday. The 215km stage, which ended in an HC summit finale on Alto Campoo, was decided by riders of the breakaway, while the peloton split into pieces on the final ascent.
Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing Team) won solo over former break mates Salvatore Puccio (Team Sky) and JJ Rojas (Movistar). The breakaway, which was originally five riders in total, still had several minutes of an advantage in the final kilometers.
The peloton, though down to 70 riders with 10.4km to go, remained together until attacks from the top GC contenders in the final few kilometers. Fabio Aru (Astana) launched, taking Nairo Quintana (Movistar) with him. Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), and Domenico Pozzovivo eventually bridged. As the top GC contenders continued to battle near the finish, dense fog made it difficult to see where each one was along the road. There were gaps between riders, though some managed to bridge back to the select group before the line.
Carlos Verona and Maxime Bouet finished 42nd and 46th, respectively.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to another stage with a summit finale on Saturday, with 175.8km of racing. The Category 1 finishing climb, Alto de Sotres, has multiple gradient ramps in the double digits in more than 12 kilometers.