Victor Campanaerts and others crashed when the peloton swept round a sharp right-hand bend in the town of La Union, and had to avoid a row of bollards situated in the centre of the road. The obstacle was protected by a large piece of bright yellow foam, but there were no signalmen at the hazard. Most of the peloton steered easily to the left of it, but Campenaerts appeared to clip the foam and then fall into the path of the peloton.
Back in the same race for the first time since 2012, Porte took part in a three-up move also containing Luis Angel Mate (Cofidis), the Vuelta’s current King of the Mountains, and Burgos-BH’s Jorge Cubero.T
The trio went on the attack after just a few kilometres, and although on a flat stage it was all but inevitable that the sprinters’ team would finally reel them in, remained out front for nearly 125 kilometres after gaining a maximum of four minutes.
At odds with his team management earlier this year in a situation which reached a crisis point following his non-selection for the Tour de France, Bouhanni’s victory in stage 6 of the Vuelta was, symbolically enough, taken in difficult racing circumstances as the bunch shattered into echelons in a windswept finale following a crash with 25km to go.
Only 24 hours earlier, Bouhanni was feeling the heat when he finished dead last on the hot and hilly stage 5 amidst strong denials from Cofidis that he had fallen out with his team manager during the stage. He later received a 30-second time penalty, allegedly for a pair of ‘sticky bottle’ incidents as he struggled in the heat of southern Spain.
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