Cycling News

On the Scene at the Vuelta

On the Scene at the Vuelta

I was able to catch the last eight stages of the Vuelta this year.

Stage 14 had a wild final kilometer, with a steep descent before the 500-meter climb to the finish at Sierra de la Pandera. I watched from the 500-meter mark, so I could see the descent and then the riders passed me as they were beginning to climb again.

Richard Carapaz was the first to appear, on his way to the stage victory, and Miguel Angel Lopez and Primoz Roglic were close behind, gaining 48 seconds on race leader Remco Evenepoel.

The later arrivals had to deal with two-way traffic on the narrow descent, as early finishers rode back to the team bus parking nine kilometers from the finish.

At the stage 15 finish atop the 2,512-meter Alto Hoya de la Mora climb, twenty-two-year-old Thymen Arensman looked like he couldn’t believe it as he took the biggest win of his young career, then appeared to double over in pain after crossing the finish line.

Enric Mas finished second on the stage as the Spanish flags waved, and Roglic cut another 15 seconds into Evenepoel’s overall lead.

Evenepoel stopped just after the finish line to catch his breath and have a drink.

Stage 16 was a heartbreaker, with Roglic crashing in the finishing straight as Mads Pedersen outsprinted Pascal Ackermann and Danny van Poppel for the stage win.

His teammate Mike Teunissen helped the injured Roglic across the finish line. Roglic had gained another eight seconds on Evenepoel, but his injuries forced him to drop out of the race the next morning.

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