Mikel Nieve showed what a travesty those ten minutes lost in the crosswinds on Friday was when he climbed to an excellent third place on the Mont Ventoux on Sunday.
The ever-consistent climber would be odds-on to finish top ten on GC if it hadn't been for that moment on inattentiveness two days ago. His performance on Sunday at least showed he's got the legs and the form to be right up there, in the end only being beaten by the unreal Chris Froome and that pocket-rocket Nairo Quintana.
His attack 13 clicks out came just at the right time and he soon got the best company he could have wished for in the Colombian. The Movistar rider's pace was always going to be too high for Nieve, though, but he did ever so well to measure his effort perfectly there on after.
What he was talking about with Contador we'll never know, but even the great man from Pinto couldn't keep up in the closing couple of clicks.
Igor Antón went straight out the back at the foot of the climb but surprisingly came to life as the kilometres passed and the gradients kicked up. Eventually he came home 21st, a tad over four minutes in arrears.
- (1, Chris Froome (Sky), 5:48:45)
- 3, Mikel Nieve, 1:23
- 21, Igor Antón, 4:07
- 49, Juan José Oroz, 13:16
- 62, Mikel Astarloza, 17:14
- 118, Romain Sicard, 27:36
- 156, Rubén Pérez, 32:36
- 160, Gorka Izagirre, s.t.
- 162, Ion Izagirre, s.t.
- 180, Juan José Lobato, 32:50
Photo: le Tour