The Brit climbed with the best on Thursday afternoon.
Stage 6 brought more climbing and a second consecutive summit finish, on Puerto del Ares, a 7.9km-long ascent averaging 5% where the spoils went to the breakaway which animated the day after the first hour of racing, once they got green light. It was just the fourth time this century that the province of Castellon got to host a summit finish, and the peloton arrived there some five minutes behind Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), who took the win.
For James Knox, the race ended on a positive note, but not without some emotions for the young Cumbrian, who was involved in a massive mid-stage pile-up, following which several riders abandoned. Fortunately, the 23-year-old escaped unscathed and was quickly back on his bike, concluding the stage just a few seconds behind the main favourites, a result that helped him make a nice jump in the general classification, where he now lies in the top 25.
Mas de la Costa is where the Vuelta a España peloton will fight on Friday’s stage; the climb is short – around four kilometers – but boasts an excruciating 12.3% average gradient and a brutal 17% ramp just before the finish, which could very well reshuffle the standings.
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele/ Getty Images