With the goal of getting it into the break to play for the stage win, Max Poole made the move for Team dsm-firmenich, where he rode brilliantly over the challenging terrain to take fourth place at the end of the day.
After the GC riders fought for stage glory on Angliru yesterday, there was a sense in the peloton that Thursday’s stage would be even more likely to go to the breakaway. As a result, a fierce start to the day saw multiple attacks from the bunch, before a group with Poole forged clear after 20 kilometres. Despite being held close initially for a few minutes, the proverbial elastic then snapped and Poole’s break quickly gained enough time so it was clear they would fight for the stage win. The up-and-down nature of the route made for a hard stage, as the break charged towards the final climbs. On the penultimate ascent Evenepoel turned the screw and made his eventual race winning move, with Poole the last rider to hold onto his wheel.
Managing the descent and flat valley road, Poole was joined by Caruso and the duo made it onto the final climb together. Riding strongly and giving everything he had on the steep slopes, Poole fought to the finish in La Cruz de Linares, taking a great fourth place on the stage.