Ireland’s Dan Martin won a thrilling battle for stage three honors on the Vuelta a Espana on Thursday, and now trails race leader Primoz Roglic by just five seconds. As a select group sprinted for the line atop a steep climb veteran Martin put in a concerted bid to outsprint Roglic and Richard Carapaz, who was third on the stage and is also third overall.
“This one’s for the wife,” said a tearful Martin at the hilltop finish.
“It’s my first win since I joined the new team too,” said the Israel Start Up Nation captain who will be joined next season by Chris Froome.
The newly formed Israeli team recently won a stage on the Giro d’Italia with England’s Alex Dowsett on stage 8.
Two-time Vuelta winner Froome fell off the pace on the final 8km climb around halfway up and is already some 30 minutes off the pace on the 18 stage Vuelta.
There was little wind as the race went through the Rioja wine region before traversing a vast, bleak almost treeless plateau.
The 166km run form Lososa to Laguna Negra may have been a sign of things to come weather-wise as riders all wore jackets in the run through pine forests and misty rain ahead of the final climb.
Colombia’s Esteban Chaves dropped from fourth overnight to eighth 1:29 down after a puncture with just a couple of kilometers to race.
|1||MARTIN Dan||Israel Start-Up Nation||4:27:49|
|2||ROGLIČ Primož||Team Jumbo-Visma||,,|
|3||CARAPAZ Richard||INEOS Grenadiers||,,|
|4||POELS Wout||Bahrain – McLaren||0:04|
|5||VLASOV Aleksandr||Astana Pro Team||0:07|
|6||MAS Enric||Movistar Team||0:09|
|7||GROßSCHARTNER Felix||BORA – hansgrohe||0:12|
|8||CARTHY Hugh||EF Pro Cycling||,,|
|9||KUSS Sepp||Team Jumbo-Visma||,,|
|10||CHAMPOUSSIN Clément||AG2R La Mondiale||0:24|
|1||ROGLIČ Primož||Team Jumbo-Visma||12:37:24|
|2||MARTIN Dan||Israel Start-Up Nation||0:05|
|3||CARAPAZ Richard||INEOS Grenadiers||0:13|
|4||MAS Enric||Movistar Team||0:32|
|5||CARTHY Hugh||EF Pro Cycling||0:38|
|6||KUSS Sepp||Team Jumbo-Visma||0:44|
|7||GROßSCHARTNER Felix||BORA – hansgrohe||1:17|
|9||SOLER Marc||Movistar Team||1:55|
|10||BENNETT George||Team Jumbo-Visma||1:57|
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini