The 173.1 kilometer long third stage of Tour de San Luis from La Punta to Mirador Potrero de los Funes had three categorized climbs on the menu. With an uphill finish over 5 kilometers and an average gradient of 6.7%, climbers and GC-riders were expected to put pressure on the stage.
A breakaway dominated first half of the stage but going over the biggest climb of the day, the lead crumbled significantly as Team Saxo-Tinkoff were pulling the pack and it was just a matter of a short period of time before the escapees were brought back. With 40 kilometers to go, the four leaders had a small gap of just one minute.
12 kilometers from the finish line, the pack was complete and an explosive finale was about to launch. A group of only 40 riders arrived at the foot of the final climb and stunningly Alex Diniz (FUN) leaped away from the bottom and stayed away to take an impressive stage win.
Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador finished 13th and is now 14th overall before tomorrow’s time trial over 19.2 kilometers.
”The stage developed as we had hoped and the boys did a great piece of work in the front of the field chasing the break and reeling them in before the big finale. Unfortunately, none of the guys had the legs to follow the front but they tried their best. Tomorrow, we’re looking forward to test the legs in the race against the clock,” said Team Saxo-Tinkoff French sports director, Philippe Mauduit.
Alex Diniz (FUN) is leading the race.