Three days from the end of the Vuelta and on the unprecedented peak of Piornal in Extremadura, the belgian Remco Evenepoel (Quick Step Alpha Vinyl) gave a blow of authority with a second victory in this edition that allows him to shield the red jersey against the Spanish Enric Mas, after an interesting duel between the two.
In a day disputed from end to end, in the end the “roosters” of the general appeared on the final climb, where the attacks took place. Among all of them, the patron of the race stood out, Remco Evenepoel (22 years old, Aalst), giving a blow on the table. With an attack close to the goal, the former soccer player beat for 2 seconds at But y to Dutchman Robert Gesinkreached when he was already savoring victory.
Remco won the sprint between 3 with ease, closing the eighteenth stage that linked Trujillo and Alto de Piornal (Cáceres), 192 km long, at an average speed of 40.4 km/hour. The leader, counting a 10-second bonus, led the group of Juan Ayuso, Supermán López, Almeida and Urán by 23 seconds, and Carlos Rodríguez by 1.29. The man from Granada, affected by a hard fall, gave fourth place to López.
There are two remaining stages that can play, the “classic” of Talavera and the Sierra de Madrid. Evenepoel will face them with 2.07 over Mas, in his most offensive version, and 5.14 over Ayuso. The Spanish pearl will have to protect her podium with López at 42 seconds.
Withdrawal of Vine, Rodríguez wounded and Carapaz leading the mountain
The second stage through Extremadura, which was celebrating its holiday, took place between shocks, and at full speed. The peloton left Trujillo with 136 runners towards the unprecedented summit del Piornal, a penultimate mountain opportunity for those interested in stirring up the general classification.
There is no truce in the Vuelta. The pace was frenetic at first., as affected by the data of 50 km covered in the first hour. Before forming a huge break with 41 runners there was a serious shock. A montonera eliminated the Australian Jay Vine, the leader of the mountain, the conqueror of Pico Jano and La Fancuaya, and injured Carlos Rodríguez, fourth overall, as well as the green jersey, Mads Pedersen.
An ugly, transcendent fall, in the middle of the battle for the breakaway, which finally formed with half a peloton. In the enormous expedition was the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, direct heir to the mountain’s blue dotted jersey. Prominent names also entered, such as Soler, Higuita, Nibali, Pinot, Gesink, Carthy, Tao Geoghegan…. some pending to justify his participation in the Vuelta.
Almeida is interspersed by the general, ‘Supermán’ shakes the group
Carapaz, stimulated as the new leader of the mountain, crossed the Alto de la Desperá in the lead (2nd, 3.7 km at 9.4 percent). The stage was animated in the escape and in the peloton. The attacks followed one another on the first ascent to Piornal (1st, 13.5 km at 5% and sections of 12). Carapaz returned to collect the 10 points at the top, where he passed with 4 runners, including Higuita and Carthy.
The UAE deployed the strategy with Almeida and Soler interspersed, the Portuguese by improve sixth place overall, and perhaps for towing Ayuso along with the Catalan on the final climb to the finish line, again in Piornal. In the podium sector, Supermán López attacked, selecting a group of 10.
Astana’s work in pursuit didn’t go amiss for leader Evenepoel, focused on following the wheel of “Shark” Vincenzo Nibali. However, that pace meant the suffering of Carlos Rodríguez, bruised by the fall in the first kms.
Gesink sinks on the shore, Evenepoel opens the Piornal
The crossing through the Valle del Jerte was highly interesting. The breakaway group started the pass with 1.24 over the Almeida-Soler group and 1.57 over the red jersey. Ahead another 13.5 km at 5 percent, an attractive port to take into account in other editions.
Ahead of the stage, the veteran of the Jumbo Visma attacked. Roglic’s partner tried to give the retired and injured Slovenian a nice gift. but behind the general’s men got involved with clubbingwhich meant the ruin for the Dutch.
It was an elimination raise. The first to start from a distance was Enric Mas but Remco stopped him short. Then “Supermán” López tried it, until the Belgian appeared in the first person to bring order to the revelry that had been formed. His start buried Almeida’s options, who worked all day to get closer in the general classification.
Enric Mas started on two other occasions, at 5 and already within the last kilometer. The latter put him in a face-to-face duel with Evenepoel, who welded himself to his wheel. This challenge made Easter to Gesink, who died on the shore after a huge solo effort. And in the sprint zone, the leader’s takeoff was unappealable. Out gross to achieve the double. He won the time trial in Alicante and at the top of Extremadura.
“I don’t want to think about anything other than keeping the red jersey. The goal was to win a stage and I already have two. Until I get to Madrid I won’t have won anything”Remko said. That if, from the Piornal the final red laa saw it more closely.
This Friday the nineteenth stage is disputed with start and arrival in Talavera de la Reinawith a route of 138.3 km.