The unprecedented climb Pico Jano welcomed the first mountain top finish of this Vuelta, at the end of the sixth stage in horrible weather conditions. After the start in Bilbao, the peloton headed towards Cantabria via the Puerto de Asilas and the Collada de Brenes.
Jan Bakelants, who already rode a day in the front in stage three, was again one of the ten escapees. The rider from Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux was the best placed rider with a disadvantage of a little more than five minutes on the race leader. Bakelants was virtually in the lead of the Vuelta for a long time, until the peloton accelerated towards the Collada de Brenes.
Bakelants was caught on top of this penultimate climb and then sacrificed for Louis Meintjes and Domenico Pozzovivo, who followed the group with all GC favorites. The Italian and South-African rider covered the final climb together, finishing 24th and 27th respectively.