Although the third stage of the Vuelta a España ended in a bunch sprint in Alicante, Sergio Higuita was able to make inroads in the general classification battle. The young Colombian sprinted for bonus seconds at the intermediate sprint and was the first across the line. His reward? Three seconds – enough to move him from eighth to seventh overall.
Rigoberto Urán finished on bunch time to hold tight to third overall. He remains eight seconds off the race lead, currently held by Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb).
The 188-kilometer stage was straightforward enough but the day was not without stress. The three-man escape that dominated the early action was caught 30 kilometers from the finish and several late race counter-attacks came from the peloton to add to the final hour excitement.
“It was supposed to be an easy day because it was a sprint and we don’t have any sprinters but we’re quickly realizing there are going to be no easy days here,” said road captain Mitch Docker.
All attacks were neutralized before the first intermediate sprint, opening the door for Higuita to pocket bonus seconds. From there, 20 kilometers from the finish line in Alicante, the sprint teams took over at the front. Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgroe) won the fast finish.
Elia Viviani (Deceuninck - QuickStep) won a bunch sprint into Nancy on Tuesday. The Italian…