Nicolas Roche rode solidly on Monday's third stage of the Vuelta a España, finishing in the main bunch into Alhaurín de la Torre. The stage was mountainous early on but ended up with the anticipated bunch gallop. Italian rider Elia Viviani (QuickStep Floors), who went head to head with Sam Bennett in the Giro d'Italia earlier this year, was first to the line. The Italian beat Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek-Segafredo) and world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe).
Roche rolled in 77th, being given the same time as Viviani. The stage result sees him remain 50 seconds behind the overall leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky), although he moves up one place to 22nd overall. Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) had a harder day, conceding four minutes nine seconds en route to 138th. He stated afterwards that his crash in the Tour de France had taken more out of him than he realised. That said, a team spokesman played down any significance to his time loss.
“There were no particular problems today for Dan,” he said. “He was aware that it was not a stage suitable for him, so he saved energies and did not take risks. His goal is to go for stage wins, so in days like today there’s no need to risk.”
Martin is 85th overall. The race continues on Tuesday with a summit finish.