Team Dimension Data’s Kristian Sbaragli took ninth place on the 200km stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana yesterday.
Magnus Cort Nielsen (Orica-BikeExchange) was first across the line in Gandia, with Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) in second and Jean-Pierre Drucker (BMC) in third.
Team DiData’s Nic Dougall did a massive amount of work at the front of the peloton and the South African strongman was able to continue his pacing work until 11km to go, when the break was caught.
Then the team focused their energy on delivering Sbaragli to a good position for the sprint finale.
It was a technical final 10km with numerous roundabouts, as well as changes in direction and road width.
Tyler Farrar showed his class and was able to keep Jaco Venter and Sbaragli at the head of affairs and out of the wind coming into the last 3km.
Sbaragli was then left to surf the wheels on the run in home and all looked promising after the final right hand bend with 600m to go.
There was no team in real control of the sprint and like the rest of the sprints at this year’s Vuelta, it was a lottery when trying to pick who might be the strongest wheel to follow.
As the riders spread across the road before the line, one could throw a blanket over the top 10 contenders and Sbaragli had to settle for ninth at the finish.