A very hot 34°C greeted the riders this midday at the start in Xativa, and as soon as the flag was dropped for the start into 176.8 kilometres around town, a first breakaway was attempted, nevertheless brought back by Xacobeo-Galicia. A few kilometres later, a new breakaway formed, this time a success.
Four riders got away, including two that already made the break in yesterday's stage to Vinaros. José Antonio López Gil (Andalucía-Cajasur) and Matthé Pronk (Vacansoleil) are thus on their second breakaway in a row at this Vuelta - a massive accomplishment considering the temperatures.
They are joined by Bingen Fernandez (Cofidis) and Aitor Perez Arrieta (Contentpolis-Ampo), and together they opened up a considerable gap reaching close to seven minutes after 30 kilometres. Since then, the Columbia-HTC team has taken control of the bunch's pace, thereby brigning down the lead to 5.40.