Vuelta a Espana 2012 | Stage 17
Goodness, what a stage! After the second and final rest day which followed three ridiculously tough mountain stages, this stage on paper looked fairly innocuous. Except it took over 80km to get away and when it did, it contained Alberto Contador and no race leader Joaquin Rodriguez.
Contador kept surging ahead, Rodriguez was left to chase on his own, no teammates and only members of Saxo Bank to keep him company (and they weren’t for helping strangely enough…).
End result: stage win and race lead for Contador, Rodriguez down to third in the GC. Crazy to watch Contador so determinedly and doggedly strive for time and so sad to watch things slip away from Rodriguez but incredible to see the race unfold this way. Vuelta might be the best grand tour of the year for sheer combativity.
(via 2012 vuelta-a-espana photos stage-17)