Everything was prepared so that the third stage of the Basque Country was decided in the last kilometer and a half of ascent to the sanctuary of Estibaliz, at the exit of Vitoria, with 250 meters of bumpy tiles. The peloton was very fast hunting for the last four survivors of the day's getaway. First they shot the Astaná, then the Sky, later the Bora, the leader's team, and at that moment the ones that set the pace were the Jumbo. Then, 6 km from the finish, the peloton opened. It split in two as if the road swallowed cyclists, what began to fall on the right side of the large group. Ten, twenty, thirty, forty... among those who flew out, those who kissed the ground and those who had to stand on the ground to avoid falling.
The fall was in the front of the peloton so it was ahead of many of the favorites, who were already attentive. The teams were placing their row bosses. And that was noticed in the victims' part. Three of the Sky, two of Deceuninck, several of Education First...
On the floor were several of those who thought to win in the stage. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck), winner of the second stage and Milan-Sanremo, was one of the most affected and the last to rise. The Frenchman finished the last 12 minutes. Your partner Enric Mas, second in the Vuelta 2018, he joined fast but lost more than 1m30 in goal.
Another one of those involved was Geraint Thomas, winner of last year's Tour. The Welshman, who has run very little after winning the Champs-Elysees, does not get things. It was left 5m46s. Worse luck ran his gregarious Kwiatkowski, who was third in the general of the Basque Country, and left 9 minutes, and Jonathan Castroviejo, who had to abandon the test.
The winner of the Tour, for the floors
Geraint Thomas finished the stage in position 139 and lost 5m46s
Thus, with the cyclists very aware of the fall and counting the damage, the final climb was faced in which the leader Maximilian Schachmann had no rival to add his second victory of stage after prevailing in the chrono of the first day. "It has been incredible to win with the yellow jersey. I'm surprising myself. I hope the battery lasts me, "said the winner.
In fact, Schachmann has remained almost without rivals. If Adam Yates lost a minute in the sterrato On Tuesday, Alafilippe, Kwiatkowski and Mas were eliminated on Wednesday. Now, in general, the Bora's German has now 33 seconds over Jon Izaguirre (Astana) and 49 ahead of Irish Dan Martin (Emirates).
The second of the Vuelta of 2018, discarded
Enric Mas managed to rejoin the race quickly but he left 1m43 in the finish line with the leader
The getaway of the day, which came to be more than three minutes ahead, was formed by José Joaquín Rojas (Movistar), the Basque Garikoitz Bravo -which kept the mountain classification jersey-, Ben King (Dimension), Armirail ( Groupama), Julien Bernard and Toms Skujins (Trek), Fernandes and Sessler, both from Burgos. The adventurers, who were hunted to 5 km, passed in the lead by the two sprints of the stage so they avoided that the first of the general, those that are left, took more bonuses than those that were distributed in the goal.