La Vuelta: Evenepoel defends red on La Pandera

La Vuelta: Evenepoel defends red on La Pandera

The fifth summit finish turned out to be the most demanding stage of the race so far for Remco Evenepoel, who was put under pressure by his rivals, all of whom attacked in waves on the toughest part of the final climb. Remco however managed to limit the losses and remain at the top of the general classification with one stage to go until the third rest day.

A hard tempo from the bottom of Sierra de La Pandera ripped the peloton apart, leaving only a select group in pursuit of the breakaway. Having controlled the stage from the beginning, Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl remained prominent with Ilan Van Wilder, who set the tempo for Evenepoel, burying himself for the red jersey. When the big moves came four kilometers from the top, Remco showed a lot of maturity, not panicking and riding his own tempo on the double-digit gradient that began to bite, despite losing contact with his rivals, who tried to make him crack, only to see a spirited and resilient response from the GC leader.

This allowed the Belgian not only to make sure the gap didn’t go over the psychological barrier of one minute, but also to bridge across to some of those that had initially dropped him, in the end coming home around 50 seconds behind his main opponents. Ahead of the toughest ascent of the race – Sierra Nevada, which will take the peloton at an altitude of more than 2500 meters – the 22-year-old has a buffer of 1:49 over the second-placed rider and remains optimistic about his chances of carrying la roja into the third week.

“It wasn’t my best day, that’s for sure, and I suffered a bit as I didn’t have my best legs, but there’s no reason to panic. If this was my bad day, then I can be content with that. It’s important to recover for Sunday and try to defend myself on the tough summit finish that we have at the end of the stage”, said Remco after donning the red jersey for the ninth consecutive day. “The last three kilometers of the climb were really steep, and the wind made it impossible to stay in the wheel, but I remained calm and kept fighting. I can’t say that I’m worried, because others lost time as well in the previous days, that’s how a Grand Tour works. The confidence remains at the same level and I’m ready to do my best on the last mountain stage before the rest day.”

 

Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele / Getty Images

Race details

1 Richard Carapaz Montenegro
INEOS Grenadiers
4:09:27
2 Miguel Ángel López Moreno
Astana Qazaqstan Team
0:08
3 Primož Roglič
Jumbo-Visma
0:08
4 João Almeida
UAE Team Emirates
0:27
5 Carlos Rodríguez Cano
INEOS Grenadiers
0:36
6 Enric Mas Nicolau
Movistar Team
0:36
7 Thymen Arensman
Team DSM
0:51
8 Remco Evenepoel
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
0:56
9 Juan Ayuso Pesquera
UAE Team Emirates
0:56
10 Wilco Kelderman
BORA - hansgrohe
1:24
35 Ilan Van Wilder
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
6:40
53 Fausto Masnada
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
11:46
72 Louis Vervaeke
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
16:59
105 Dries Devenyns
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
22:46
134 Rémi Cavagna
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
26:54
1 Remco Evenepoel
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
52:21:33
2 Primož Roglič
Jumbo-Visma
1:49
3 Enric Mas Nicolau
Movistar Team
2:43
4 Carlos Rodríguez Cano
INEOS Grenadiers
3:46
5 Juan Ayuso Pesquera
UAE Team Emirates
4:53
6 Miguel Ángel López Moreno
Astana Qazaqstan Team
6:02
7 João Almeida
UAE Team Emirates
6:49
8 Wilco Kelderman
BORA - hansgrohe
6:56
9 Tao Geoghegan Hart
INEOS Grenadiers
8:49
10 Ben O'Connor
AG2R Citroën Team
9:12
43 Ilan Van Wilder
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
58:27
67 Fausto Masnada
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
1:33:25
77 Louis Vervaeke
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
1:42:37
111 Dries Devenyns
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
2:23:10
115 Rémi Cavagna
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
2:27:33
1 Mads Pedersen
Trek - Segafredo
267 pt
2 Primož Roglič
Jumbo-Visma
96 pt
3 Marc Soler Giménez
UAE Team Emirates
96 pt
4 Fred Wright
Bahrain - Victorious
96 pt
5 Remco Evenepoel
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
94 pt
6 Samuele Battistella
Astana Qazaqstan Team
91 pt
7 Enric Mas Nicolau
Movistar Team
71 pt
8 Kaden Groves
Team BikeExchange - Jayco
60 pt
9 Pascal Ackermann
UAE Team Emirates
56 pt
10 Tim Merlier
Alpecin-Deceuninck
56 pt
20 Fausto Masnada
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
36 pt
61 Rémi Cavagna
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
15 pt
1 Jay Vine
Alpecin-Deceuninck
40 pt
2 Richard Carapaz Montenegro
INEOS Grenadiers
26 pt
3 Robert Stannard
Alpecin-Deceuninck
21 pt
4 Marc Soler Giménez
UAE Team Emirates
20 pt
5 Jimmy Janssens
Alpecin-Deceuninck
17 pt
6 Thibaut Pinot
Groupama - FDJ
12 pt
7 Rubén Fernández Andújar
Cofidis
11 pt
8 Louis Meintjes
Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux
10 pt
9 Jesús Herrada López
Cofidis
10 pt
10 Remco Evenepoel
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
9 pt
22 Fausto Masnada
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
5 pt
1 Remco Evenepoel
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
52:21:33
2 Carlos Rodríguez Cano
INEOS Grenadiers
3:46
3 Juan Ayuso Pesquera
UAE Team Emirates
4:53
4 João Almeida
UAE Team Emirates
6:49
5 Thymen Arensman
Team DSM
9:14
6 Sergio Higuita García
BORA - hansgrohe
34:04
7 José Félix Parra Cuerda
Equipo Kern Pharma
34:32
8 Gino Mäder
Bahrain - Victorious
41:18
9 Clément Champoussin
AG2R Citroën Team
41:31
10 Edoardo Zambanini
Bahrain - Victorious
50:09
11 Ilan Van Wilder
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team
58:27
1 UAE Team Emirates 156:18:52
2 INEOS Grenadiers 4:46
3 Astana Qazaqstan Team 34:23
4 BORA - hansgrohe 35:08
5 Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert Matériaux 40:13
6 Movistar Team 40:52
7 Bahrain - Victorious 43:19
8 EF Education-EasyPost 44:45
9 Jumbo-Visma 1:02:51
10 Burgos-BH 1:32:26

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