In freezing rain an early breakaway formed and with the main contenders more concerned with keeping track of each other Orica’s Albasioni won in a sprint with the last few escapees.
Seen as a warm up and testing ground for the Tour de France Quintana, perhaps the sports best climber, moved top of the overall standings when he left the field trailing on Thursday’s second stage. Runner-up in the 2015 Tour de France Quintana went into the this stage with a 19 second overall lead on up and coming
French climber Thibaut Pinot. Pinot managed second overall, the first time the 25-year-old has achieved a podium finish in a one week World Tour stage race, while Quintana’s teammate Ion Izagirre came third at 23sec. The FDJ man Pinot, also a climb specialist, sent out a warning however by posting the quickest time in Friday’s 15km time-trial, faster even than Sky leader Chris Froome.
The Briton saw his chances of overall victory blown by a puncture, but saved face with a solo mountain stage win on Saturday.
Other major riders of note also did well here with Dutch hope Tom Dumoulin, who came close to winning the Tour of Spain last year, and was fifth here at 57sec.
American all-rounder Tejay Van Garderen of Team BMC was also in the running and ended 10th overall at 1min 27sec.