Boldness remains the key in this Vuelta, now led by David De La Cruz, who broke away with 11 other riders to give Spain its first stage win in this edition while taking the red jersey away from Nairo Quintana in Oviedo. The Catalan rider dropped his last breakaway companion, Belgian Dries Devenyns (IAM Cycling), in the last 600 metres to give his Etixx-Quick Step team their third stage victory in this Tour of Spain. Italy's Moreno Moser (Cannondale-Drapac) was third. The pack, led all day by...
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The stage in pictures
The Earth's folds
The fact that rocks can bend, without breaking, is one of the Earth's many mysteries. Limestone, conglomerates, quartzites and marble cannot withstand a blow from a hammer; and it seems impossible that they could bend; but they do.
Anyone who doubts this should take a ride in the Vuelta helicopter and watch the first part of the stage from the sky in order to fully appreciate just how rocks bend. And, for those who cannot fly over the area, they can always look at a satellite image or a geological map, those wonderfully mysterious portraits of the Earth where rocks, structures and the territory's age are depicted.
If we add the Cantabrian mountain range to this complex structure, we have all the ingredients for the rivers and glaciers to form a truly exceptional landscape. The almost vertical walls and deep valleys accompany us throughout most of the stage.
These complex structures also favoured mining from the beginning. Thanks to the folds, a man-made valley or gallery can cut through the layer that contains a particular metal or coal seam many times. The region owes a large part of its development to mining and, for this reason, it is not unusual for it to be full of tributes, such as the El Entrego Mining and Industry Museum, in the municipality of San Martin del Rey Aurelio.
From the locality of La Uña to Pola de Laviana, is the Redes Natural Park, recognised by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve since 2001. It occupies the central-western area of the Principality of Asturias. In it can be found a multitude of landscapes and contrasts, from glacial formations such as moraines or cirques, and even karst formations in caves and wide meadows.
To finish this stage, between Olloniego and Oviedo, we come across El Caleyu, an amber deposit from the Early Cretaceous period (100 million years ago) with very well-preserved insect and arthropoda fossils. These deposits provide information regarding a key moment in the planet's history, the moment when plants that were pollinated by insects appeared, plants that changed the appearance of every continent.
Amber. Semiprecious stone composed of fossilised vegetable resin that comes mainly from the remains of conifers and some angiosperms.
Jersey wearers after the stage 21
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