Team DSM (Spain) - Press Release: The queen stage of the race lay ahead of the peloton this afternoon as they rolled out of Martos this afternoon, faced with roughly 4000 metres of climbing and an altitude finish at 2500 metres above sea level in Sierra Nevada. It was an aggressive start to the stage as attacks peppered the front of the peloton, with Joris Nieuwenhuis and Thymen Arensman both attentive and following any large groups.
Eventually after 30 kilometres a move of around 30 riders went clear, which Arensman had managed to infiltrate for the team. With the peloton fanning across the road their gap expanded and reached roughly six minutes at one point but a few other teams decided that it was growing too large and upped the pace, immediately shredding the gap down to four minutes.
As the climbs came and went, the pace went up and down but as the race hit the bottom of what was a 22 kilometre ascent to the line the gap stood at three minutes and 30 seconds, where Soler immediately went on the attack. Riding within himself, Arensman set tempo alongside the group of chasers and made it over the steeper slopes and onto the “easier” six and seven percent gradients – where he then set off in pursuit of Soler inside nine kilometres to go. Making the catch and going immediately past him, Arensman dug as deep as possible as he pushed on up the mountain and the altitude increased.
As the final kilometres ticked by, Arensman remained steady and held the gap to those behind him and as he passed under the flamme rouge it still remained at around one minute and 30 seconds. Giving everything to the line with one eye on moving up the GC classification, Arensman raised his arms aloft atop Sierra Nevada once across the finish – celebrating a brilliant win for himself and Team DSM.
- ARENSMAN Thymen: Team DSM - 4:17:17
- MAS Enric: Movistar Team - 1:23
- LÓPEZ Miguel Ángel: Astana Qazaqstan Team - 1:25