The riders in the Tour of Spain (2.WT, 14/08-5/09) started the final week of the event with a transition stage towards Asturia. This sixteenth stage, with start in Laredo (Cantabria) offered a parcours suited for a bunch sprint with the Alto de Hijas (3.7km at 7.2%) as the only categorized difficulty of the day with 80 kilometer to go.
The stage of 180 kilometer was presented as flat, despite the more than 2000 meters of climbing. It didn’t prevent the sprinter’s teams to chase behind the early breakaway of six riders. In the beginning of the race, Rein Taaramäe was involved in a big crash. UAE Team Emirates tried to make use of the non categorized Alto de Cipriano (5.1 km à 4,2%) to drop some of the sprinters. Race leader Odd Christian Eiking was vigilant and well surrounded by his teammates so wasn’t caught by surprise. The acceleration brought most of the escapees back, except for Stan Dewulf who was only caught in the final kilometer. The curves in the roads of Santa Cruz de Bezana welcomed Fabio Jakobsen as the winner of a bunch sprint. Italian sprinter Riccardo Minali took a fourth top 10 thanks to his 8th place.
The Norwegian leader Eiking reached the finish without issues and will take the start of the seventeenth stage in his red jersey for the seventh day in a row. Louis Meintjes (13th) climbs one position in the general classification as a consequence of the abandon of Ciccone. This Wednesday will be a decisive day for the general classification in the heights of Asturia, with a mountain top finish on Lagos de Cavadonga (12.5 km at 7%), preceded by a double ascension of the Collada Llomena (7.6 km at 9,1%).