Jesus Herrada avenges his brother
August 29 th 2019 - 17:09
Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) made the most of the lumpy roads leading to Ares del Maestrat claiming victory on the very next day after his brother José finished 3rd in Javalambre. The Spaniard, who wore La Roja for two days at La Vuelta 18, dominated Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) and the rest of his breakaway companions in the final climb to take his first Grand Tour stage win. The Belgian rider takes the leader’s red jersey from Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team), who finished in the bunch with his GC rivals. Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb) and Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) crashed out of the race.
Angel Madrazo’s victory in Javalambre had many riders inspired and the battle for the breakaway is an extremely intense one. Attacks fly from the gun, with many groups jumping ahead of the bunch and being caught. Wout Poels (Team Ineos) puts in a strong solo effort over the first two climbs, the Puerto de Nogueruelas (cat-2) and the Puerto de Linares (cat-3), but the peloton gets back to him after 41km.
Eleven riders immediately counter and eventually manage to break away: Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team), Dorian Godon (AG2R La Mondiale), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe), Tejay Van Garderen (EF Education First), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Tsgabu Grmay (Mitchelton-Scott), David de la Cruz (Team Ineos), Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma), Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis).
Uran and Roche crash out of the race
Astana still control the gap: 1’25” as the race travels through Villafranca del Cid (km 75). Tension remains high in the bunch and a massive crash happens at km 105. EF Education First’s Rigoberto Uran and Hugh Carthy aren’t able to resume racing and Victor de la Parte (CCC Team) also retires at the moment. The former wearer of La Roja Nicolas Roche (Team Sunweb) gets back on his bike but he also needs to step off and abandon a few kilometres later.
The gap eventually increases and the attackers enjoy a 4’20” lead at the bottom of the penultimate climb, the cat-3 Puerto de Culla, to be summited with 25.5km to go. Tsgabu Grmay attacks in the climb and opens a 30” gap to his chasers at the summit. The peloton trails by 5’05” and David de la Cruz leads the virtual GC standings as he was trailing by 4’35” at the start of the stage.
Herrada powers to victory
Tejay Van Garderen misses a curve in the downhill. Nelson Oliveira joins Grmay at the front of the race with 20km to go. At the bottom of the final climb (7.9km at 5%), they enjoy a 33” lead to their chasers and 6’26” to the bunch.
Dylan Teuns and Jesus Herrada get back to Oliveira and Grmay and immediately drop them with 2.5km to go. Herrada accelerates with 200m to go and soloes to victory. Among the GC contenders, Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) is the first to cross the line with a delay of 5’41”, 3 seconds ahead of the Lopez group. Teuns is the new leader of La Vuelta 19.