A massive time trial ride put Valerio Conti within touching distance of the stage win in the Vuelta a San Juan and moved him to third overall. The Italian could only be stopped by Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), 12″ faster over the 12km stage around Pocito at 13:41.
Fernando Gaviria, the leader over the last two days also put in a good ride to finish sixth at 21″ and Swiss Tom Bohli slotted in eighth at 26″. He sat in the hot seat for much of the afternoon. Thanks to their rides, the UAE leads the team classification by 41 seconds over Team Bora-Hansgrohe.
“I believed in it, but I came across one of the strongest riders in the world over short and powerful stages,” Conti said.
“Alaphilippe is taking advantage of very good form at the moment, I can only compliment him on his win today.
“Regarding my ride, I gave it the best I had and I used my head more than my legs. I managed it well thanks to the advice of our Sports Director Simone Pedrazzini and General Manager Matxin.
“In the first part of the course, the wind was coming from the front and I thought to defend myself to use my energy the best as possible for the final, when it was possible to move ahead.”