Here's what has got our tongues wagging on stage six of the Vuelta a España
Chaves really wanted his red jersey back
Attacking off the front with two and a half kilometres to the finish, Chaves simply waltzed past the remaining breakaway rider Steve Cummings on the sharp final climb and never (figuratively) looked back.
The crowds in Spain love him, and it’s easy to see why. His riding style is easy on the eye and his attacking insticts make him fun to watch. Then, when he steps off the bike and onto the podium, Chaves does nothing but smile.
Beaming from ear to ear, Chaves picked up his red jersey on the podium and thrust his arms in the air, showing that the win and the jersey mean a lot to him. And that’s a great thing to see.
Dumoulin really didn’t want to give the jersey back
When Chaves went off the front, Dumoulin’s chances of wearing red tomorrow looked over, but the Dutchman wasn’t going to give the jersey up easily.
When the hill relented a little with 1,600m to go the Giant-Alpecin man launched an attack of his own to try and catch Chaves. By that point, though, the Orica rider was already 20 seconds up the road and not even a time trial expert like Dumoulin could bridge that gap.
But he gave it a good go, crossing the line just five seconds behind the winner and with the bonus seconds on offer he now sits 10 seconds behind the new leader – by no means insurmountable in upcoming stages.
So close but yet so far for Steve Cummings
Fresh (ish) off a famous win at the Tour de France, Steve Cummings looked as if he would notch another Grand Tour victory on stage six.
The MTN-Qhubeka rider got himself in the day’s breakaway and was the last man standing from the six-man escape on the stage’s final climb.
Team Colombia’s Miguel Angel Rubiano had a little dig off the front, but Cummings counter attacked and sped right past him and off up the road.
With the peloton looking as though they were not that fussed about chasing him down it looked as if he was going to solo to the win, but in the end the gradient of the hill and the attack by Chaves put paid to that dream.
When the Colombian passed him on an incredibly steep section it looked as if Cummings might fall off his bike, he was going so slow.
Cummings is here for a stage win and said after the stage he’ll have another crack in a few days time. Something to look forward to.
Dan Martin left it a bit late…again
It’s the story of Dan Martin‘s racing lately, but the Irishman left it just a little too late to launch his attack to win the stage, rolling in second behind Chaves.
In the Tour de France, Martin had two second-place finishes having made his move at the wrong time. Firstly up the Mur de Bretagne on stage eight, where he was beaten by Alexis Vuillermoz, and then on stage 11 when he smashed it up the Col d’Aspin and Col du Tourmalet but lost out to Rafal Majka by a minute.
Martin certainly has it in him to win Grand Tour stages, but perhaps he needs to make the attacks rather than react to them and miss his opportunities.
Boy, it was hot
The Vuelta a España always throws up some scorching temperatures and today was no different, with thermometres hitting 35 degrees Celsius on the wide open roads.
Trek’s Danny van Poppel said he was struggling with the heat yesterday when it was barely 30, so who knows how he managed to get through today’s searing heat.
Temperatures should be slightly more kind on stage seven as the riders head back towards the coast, although the start town of Jodar is set to reach 38 Celsius tomorrow, so they’d better ride fast to get away before it really heats up!