Just one day after his resounding collapse, which meant he lost more than 27 minutes and any chance of revalidating the red jersey achieved in the last edition, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick-Step) gave us a true victory in the 14th stage of La Vuelta a España, which is still commanded by the American Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma).
The Belgian won with a demonstration that almost all runners have a bad day during a grand tour. He won a mountainous day of 156.2 kilometers, contested between the French town of Sauveterre-de-Béarn and the Spanish ski resort of Larra-Belagua, which was his second partial crown in this edition.
Behind the winner came the Frenchman Romain Bardet (DSM-Firmenich), with whom he shared the break of the day. Third place was taken by the Belgian Lennert Van Eetvelt (Lotto Dstny) at more than 6 minutes.
The group of favorites entered with more than 8 minutes led by the Russian Aleksandr Vlasov (BORA – hansgrohe), escorted by the American Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), who remains the solid leader of the Spanish round; while the best Latin rider was the Colombian Santiago Buitrago Bahrain – Victorious in 22nd place, more than 10 minutes behind.
Day 14 was perhaps as hard as the previous day’s stage. Once again the peloton had to face two large out-of-category climbs ending in Puerto de Belagua (9.4 kilometers at 6.3%).
Thomas De Gendt was the first to try it, and many more would follow. Remco Evenepoel was one of those “many”. The leader of Soudal Quick-Step would succeed in his mission. After just over thirty kilometers he took off a great breakaway that included Romain Bardet, Simone Petilli, Finn Fisher-Black, Stefan Bissegger, Lennert Van Eetvelt, Lennard Kämna, Michael Storer and Damiano Caruso.
The Spanish round will continue this Sunday with the dispute of stage 15, a half-mountain section of 158.5 kilometers between Pamplona and Lekunberri, which includes three categorized mountain passes.
Classification Stage 14
Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) 4h13’38”
Romain Bardet (DSM-Firmenich) +1’12”
Lennert Van Eetvelt (Lotto-Dstny) +6’33”
Jonathan Castroviejo (INEOS-Grenadiers) +6’35”
Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ) +7’24”
David de la Cruz (Astana) +8’21”
Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) +8’22”
Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) m.t.
Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) m.t.
Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) m.t.
Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +51h04’54”
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1’37”
Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +1’44”
Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) +2’37”
Enric Mas (Movistar Team) +3’06”
Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) +3’10”
Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) +4’12”
Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) +5’02”
Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bora-Hansgrohe) +5’30”
Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +8’39”