An all-star cast had already ensured the 2014 Vuelta a Espana would be a race to remember – and the first summit finish on this year’s route certainly did the pre-race billing proud.
Alejandro Valverde, Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) did battle on the Alto de Cumbres Verdes – with the former coming out on top.
And with world number one Valverde restored to the red jersey, there was plenty of cause for celebration in the Spanish team’s camp.
For Froome and Contador, too, the stage proved they have managed to put their respective Tour de France crashes firmly in the past – at least for now – as they celebrated second and third respectively to significantly strengthen their overall standing.
With the race blown apart on the slopes of the category-one summit finish, photographer Stefano Sirotti was on hand to capture the best of the action.
Relive the stage in the full-width gallery below.