The riders had to overcome three first-category climbs, two of which were in the last 25 kilometres. With that in mind, the peloton took a wait-and-see approach. The first riders started to attack only after the first climb, including Anouska Koster. However, no one got much freedom from the peloton. On the way to the final climbs, Karlijn Swinkels won the intermediate sprint in La Barona, which resulted in the lead in the sprint classification.
In the run-up to the final climb, a group crashed hard, including Ruëgg. The young Swiss rider seems to have escaped with only minor abrasions. In the last kilometres, Annemiek van Vleuten swept to the stage victory.
Swinkels had not necessarily set her sights on the intermediate sprint. “I had the opportunity to sprint and I grabbed it. I have had a good feeling from the first stage on. I finished my studies this winter and my preparation went very well. It’s nice to start my season like this.”