In an uphill finish, Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) won the eleventh stage of the 2023 Vuelta a España, a 163.2-kilometre mountainous day between Lerma and La Laguna Negra, where the Ecuadorian Jonathan Caicedo (EF Education) he entered fourth and was about to make history.
The Spanish cyclist, who turned out to be the best climber of the 26-rider breakaway, finished ahead of Frenchman Romain Grégoire (Groupama-FDJ) and Danish Andreas Kron (Lotto Dstny), who completed a podium that did not change anything in the standings general.
Since EF Education does not have a clear leader in the Iberian round, Caicedo and the other pieces of the American team have pointed to the victory of stages, and since stage 11 ended in ascendance, the Ecuadorian had the opportunity to be the protagonist.
This is how he went with the escapees this Wednesday, and 1.6 kilometers from the finish line, he opened up on the right side of the road and attacked, in an action that almost left him out of the reach of Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) and company.
In this way, everything indicated that the Ecuadorian would be the first Latin American to win a stage in this edition of the Tour of Spain, but his legs did not give him, and after being captured, he once again tried the attack, being surpassed 300 meters from goal by the Spanish Herrada -who ended up taking the stage and the leadership in the mountains classification-.
Of course, Jonathan Caicedo was worthy of an experienced rider in ‘grand tours’, and if there were those who believed that Ecuador would go blank in the Spanish round due to the loss of Richard Carapaz, Caicedo showed that in the stages with high end, can be the protagonist.
In the leak of the day, 26 riders were leaked, among which, in addition to the Ecuadorian, Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers), Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ), Romain Grégoire (Groupama-FDJ), Jan Maas (Jayco AlUla), Otto Vergaerde (Lidl-Trek), Andreas Kron (Lotto Dstny), Andrea Piccolo (EF Education-EasyPost), Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) and Luis León Sánchez (Astana Qazaqstsan), among others.
As for the ‘Gallos de la General’, nothing special happened with the favorites in the final climb of 6.5 km at 6.8%, they all finished with the same time and the American Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) kept in command.
The Spanish round will continue this Thursday with the dispute of stage number 12, a fraction of 150.6 kilometers between the towns of Ólvega and Zaragoza.
Source: Revista Mundo Ciclístico y www.antena2.com