Top 10 for Devenyns on steep Andalucia finish
Alto El Higueral, Puerto Sierra Cristina, Puerto Salto del Caballo, Alto de Las Grajeras and Puerto del Castillo were the five ranked climbs of Thursday’s 150.6km stage between Archidona and Alcala la Real, but everybody knew the main difficulty of the day would be the last kilometer, averaging a stinging 11.5% and featuring a 500m cobblestone section, which only added to the complexity of this steep finish.
With the breakaway neutralized with around ten kilometers to go, the only concern of the contenders was to position themselves close as close to the front as possible for the technical finale in Alcala la Real. Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl did a great job in this regard and Dries Devenyns benefitted of this and the strong form he carried into the race to conclude in seventh place, just a handful of seconds behind Alessandro Covi (UAE Team Emirates), who took the win.
Ahead of Friday’s stage 3, another short and hilly one containing four classified ascents, Devenyns sits in fifth place, only one second separating him from the overall podium of the Vuelta a Andalucia.
Photo credit: ©Bas Czerwinski / Getty Images