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by Shane Stokes
August 22, 2017
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Nibali wins stage 3 of the Vuelta a España, Froome takes red jersey; Lawless wins stage 4 of the Tour de l’Avenir; Froome surprised to take race lead so soon; Contador: ‘I don’t know what happened – I had very bad sensations’; Majka rues lost time after off day; Tom-Jelte Slagter signs for Dimension Data, team says his best is yet to come; Alex Dowsett to slot into Kittel’s leadout train at Katusha-Alpecin, also has own ambitions; Sabrina Stultiens returns to WM3; Gary West remembered; Video: Artemis World Cycle Week 6 Wrap: Through Australia and onto New Zealand
Showing his sharp racing instinct once again, Vincenzo Nibali launched a perfectly-timed attack to win the third stage of the Vuelta a España in Andorra la Vella on Monday. The Bahrain-Merida rider jumped before the lead group started sprinting, opening a gap which he was able to hold until the line. Second place went to David de la Cruz (QuickStep Floors), with Chris Froome (Team Sky) third and Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale) fourth.
“I didn’t expect to win,” said a pleased Nibali. “Sky upped the tempo when I was a bit behind. Luckily I got back on. My only way to win the stage was to launch the sprint.”
Nibali was amongst several key riders who were gapped by Team Sky’s pace on the day’s final climb. Also distanced were Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe), who would concede two minutes 33 and two minutes 35 seconds respectively. When Chris Froome made his move near the summit, only Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott) was able to go with him, and the two remained together speeding down the descent into Andorra la Vella.
However other key riders were chasing behind and were able to get across. These included Nibali, de la Cruz, Bardet, Fabio Aru (Astana), Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r La Mondiale), Nicolas Roche and Tejay van Garderen (both BMC Racing Team). Once the junction was made Roche attacked hard, but his attempt to get a gap was unsuccessful. Nibali tried closer to the line and, this time, the timing was perfect and the stage was won.
Froome took a three second time bonus during the stage and this gain plus his third on the stage saw him end the day two seconds clear in the revised general classification. He is now two seconds clear of de la Cruz, Roche and van Garderen, with Nibali a further eight seconds behind.