Madrid, Sep 9: France’s Alexandre Geniez rode bravely to victory in the 15th stage of the Vuelta de Espana (Tour of Spain) cycle race.
Undaunted by the longest stage in the three-week race, Geniez finished well ahead of the group containing the main race favourites, ending with an advantage of three minutes 20 seconds after attacking and breaking away with around 125 kilometres remaining, reports Xinhua.
Despite the difficulty of the 224.9 kilometre stage, which included four first class climbs, on the back of Saturday’s rain-soaked stage, Sunday saw a rapid race with continual attacks.
Nicolas Roche, who slipped out of the top-three Saturday, was among those to try and animate the stage on roads that were still damp as a result of the previous day’s rain and dangerous to ascend.
The attacks began in the leaders’ group with just over 11 kilometres remaining as Dani Moreno (Katusha) launched the first attempt to break clear. He was followed by Valverde, who lost time to race leader, Nibali Saturday.
Then it was Nibali’s turn as the Italian waited for Valverde’s burst to run out before moving clear of the pack for a shortwhile. Joaquin Rodriguez was also aggressive, forcing Nibali to respond as attacks came thick and fast.
However, Nibali was able to fight off any attempts to eat into his overall lead and he, Valverde and second placed Chris Horner crossed the line together to leave the top three unchanged.