The Irish Frenchman was reeled back in with 12 kilometers to go where Team Sky controlled the pace of the pack. Up front, Roche had been passed by another strong riding Irishman, Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) who was chased by Jurgen Van Den Brouck (Lotto-Belisol) and Robert Gesink (Blanco).
Despite several attempts, no one was able to catch the Garmin-Sharp rider who took a spectacular solo win. The new leader of therace is today’s stage winner.
Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s DS, Dan Frost was happy with the effort:
”Our boys wanted to get in to that break from the gun and Nicho (Roche) did an excellent job in his solo break entering the uphill finish alone. Behind him, Chris is well-placed in the Wiggins-group ready to take over but 5 kilometers to go, he had a puncture and he kept fighting heroically all the way to the finish line in order to re-establish contact with the group. Tomorrow’, there’s another stage and another chance of stage win success,” commented DS, Dan Frost.
Unfortunately, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) crashed during the stage and abandoned the race wearing the leader’s jersey.