Race report

Hard-fought punchy uphill finish at the Vuelta

Vuelta a España

Photo Credit: Cor Vos

Today’s racing at the Vuelta a España saw the peloton faced with a tricky, rolling day in the saddle from Castro Urdiales to Suances, that featured a punchy hilltop finish. As it was a stage that could have went multiple ways, the fight to get into the early breakaway was fierce. Martin Salmon rode well to make one of the dangerous moves but they were soon brought back and the elastic eventually snapped when a four-man group went clear.

The breakaway’s advantage was allowed to grow out to well over 12 minutes, which in turn would result in an incredibly fast second half of the stage as the bunch increased the speed to close them down. Those out front were caught with just over 15 kilometres to go as the battle for positioning begun over the rolling hills. The team moved well as a unit to bring sprinter Max Kanter and Robert Power towards the fore, before the bunch plunged down and bounced back up to begin the final climb. Kanter was strong to initially stay near the front as the puncheurs began to turn the screw but at 300 metres to go as the gradient increased in severity, he had to let go of the wheels and couldn’t follow the group anymore. Power showed that his form is also on the up with a good effort on the punchy finish climb to cross the line first for the team.

Robert Power | Team Sunweb | Vuelta a España

“It was a hard day in the peloton,” explained Power at the finish. “The breakaway went out to 12 minutes and Mitchelton and Deceuninck rode hard all day to bring it back. In the final it was really fast and it was a real fight until the two kilometre to go mark where the climb started. It was a real fight. The guys did a great job of looking after us and protecting us going into the climb. Unfortunately, me and Max both weren’t up there in the results but we gave it everything and it was a good test to come into the final in a good position.”

Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef added: “It was a really hard day today for the guys. The bunch let the gap grow to over 12 minutes for the four breakaway riders which made it a fast day. Our first goal was to follow the breakaways but that didn’t work out in the start as there was a small group so we let them go. We then switched to ‘scenario b’ where we would go for the final with Rob and Max. We were a bit too enthusiastic towards the final and as a result of that we were not really in position when we hit the last two kilometres. In the end Rob wasn’t really able to do a result and it turned out to be just too difficult for Max.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 ROGLIČ Primož Team Jumbo-Visma 4:14:11 100
2 GROßSCHARTNER Felix BORA - hansgrohe ,, 40
3 BAGIOLI Andrea Deceuninck - Quick Step ,, 20
28 POWER Robert Team Sunweb 0:03 -
39 KANTER Max Team Sunweb 0:23 -
46 SÜTTERLIN Jasha Team Sunweb 0:32 -
73 SALMON Martin Team Sunweb 1:27 -
75 DONOVAN Mark Team Sunweb 1:29 -
93 ARENSMAN Thymen Team Sunweb 2:13 -
140 STORER Michael Team Sunweb 4:29 -