This is the first difficult mountain stage that included a climb up to the Lagos de Covadonga, featuring inclines as steep as 20%. Jefimkin (Caisse d’Epargne) won this stage, followed by Leonardo Piepoli and Stijn Devolder. Denis Menchov (Rabobank) finished a respectable fourth which is great for him and his team after he lost heart in the Tour de France last July and failed to finish. Carlos Sastre and Cadel Evans came in sixth and seventh, respectively. Jefimkin is now the new leader of the classement (as of yesterday, Freire was the leader).
Other cycling news: Gerolsteiner will stop sponsoring cycling after 2008, but says doping is not the sole reason they’re quitting. Meanwhile, Yaroslav Popovych is going to Predictor-Lotto from Discovery Channel (which has also decided to stop its sponsorship of cycling teams).