Storer was only 20s slower than the GC favorites on the final climb despite being in the break all day and not even their level.I will commit the sin of quoting myself, but for the first time in a long time I liked what I saw yesterday at the Vuelta. A big breakaway in an unpredictable, evenly matched dogfight and the last four riders standing being slow and looking spent. Admittedly the final 3.5kms were genuinely brutal terrain, but all four riders, including the winner, were clearly spent. The winner was at a virtual crawl at the flamme rouge and would easily have been overhauled and lost the stage if the guy in second had any energy. So the slow riding cannot be viewed as sandbagging in my eyes as it genuinely jeopardised victory.
It is the first stage in a GT all year that has looked like that to me and fits in with my perception of what was commonplace 5-10 years ago. Bahrain are clearly performing at a reduced level, which is a huge factor in things looking less rancid. But on yesterday's evidence possibly there is a more cautious stance amongst other elements in the peloton at the Vuelta this year?
One swallow does not a spring make and maybe it'll be back to one dude cruising to victory again today, but I'll be disappointed and surprised if that happens over the course of the next fortnight.
They looked slow because it was a crazy steep climb.