Another podium for Alaphilippe in Burgos
Enric Mas keeps lead in the youth classification ahead of final mountain test.
Penultimate stage of the Spanish race was all about the closing kilometer, one taking the riders past the old and charming amphitheater in Clunia, the ancient Roman city which served as capital of the Hispania Tarraconensis province two thousand years ago. Averaging 7%, the drag to the finish was suited to puncheurs, so Quick-Step Floors was among the teams who controlled the stage from the start, contributing to the pace setting behind the four men in the escape.
Once the catch was made, Belgian powerhouse Tim Declercq took the reins and stretched out the peloton ahead of the final kilometer, where the bunch split as the pace went up a notch and riders began jostling for position. In what was his only fifth day of racing after a three-month break caused by an injury, Julian Alaphilippe rolled over the line in third place, for his second podium at the Vuelta a Burgos, following the one on the inaugural stage.
The 25-year-old Frenchman, who recently extended his contract with Quick-Step Floors, accelerated on the last 200 meters and finished just behind Carlos Barbero (Movistar) and Gianni Moscon (Team Sky), for the team's fifth top-3 result at the Vuelta a Burgos in four days.
David De La Cruz and best young rider of the event Enric Mas, who both climbed to the overall podium as a result of their convincing ride on Picon Blanco, safely concluded Friday's stage and will now look to the final leg of the race, which is set to take the peloton to Lagunas de Neila, Vuelta a Burgos' iconic summit finish.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele