Elia Viviani (Quick-Step Floors) won the bunch sprint on Stage 10 of the Vuelta a España ahead of Peter Sagan (BORA-hansgrohe) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo).
Cycling Central

5 Sep 2018 - 2:00 AM  UPDATED 5 Sep 2018 - 7:14 AM

The 177 kilometre flat stage from Salamanca to Fermoselle was always down for a sprint finish and that's exactly how it ended with Viviani picking up his second victory of the 2018 Vuelta a España.

“I think it’s one of the best lead-outs we’ve done all year," Viviani said. "Maybe the best one. We were coming from two sprints that didn’t work for us: we were not in a position to sprint against Valverde (stage 8) and we did a mistake when I finished third (stage 6).

"Here, everything went perfect, from all the guys. It’s easy to train for the sprints but then it’s difficult to apply it in race. Michael (Morkov) is the one who decides when we go, and then it sets the timing for Saba (Fabio Sabatini) and for me, with the idea to make me go as late as possible.

“I think it’s one of the best lead-outs we’ve done all year. Maybe the best one."

"Today, I sprinted from 150-170m to go. If I have the legs, it’s impossible to lose in those conditions. I always dreamt of winning as many Grand Tour stages as possible. Now I have five at the Giro and two at La Vuelta and I want to enjoy my perfect train to win more until the end of La Vuelta.

"There are three more sprint stages I think and I want to win in Madrid but we’ll also have to see if I can survive on stage 20.”

The general classification top 10 remains unchanged with Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) leading Movistar pair Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana.

How the stage unfolded

Only two men escaped the peloton to create the break of the day, first, it was Jesus Ezquerra (Burgos-BH) solo joined after 13km by Tiago Machado (Katusha-Alpecin) for the remainder of their time at the front with four minutes the maximum advantage gained.

They were held at two minutes until the business end of the stage arrived with an intermediate sprint quickly followed by a climb at which point the advantage was almost erased.

A crash dropped Simone Petilli (UAE Team Emirates) and Jelle Wallays (Lotto Soudal) just before the intermediate sprint was taken by Ezquerra with Kiwi George Bennett (LottoNL-Jumbo) leading the peloton through two minutes later

Machado then left behind Ezquerra on the Alto De Fermoselle but was quickly swept up by the peloton inside the final two kilometres of the climb which peaked with 30 kilometres left to race.

The mountains classification points on offer were taken by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) followed by Pieter Serry (Quick-Step Floors) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar).

Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH) took some TV time as the sprinters got themselves organised for a fast finish with Quick-Step Floors doing the majority of the work all the way to the finish for Viviani.

The race continues with Stage 11, 207.8 lumpy kilometres from Mombuey to Ribeira Sacra. Luintra and the longest stage of this edition.