Just like they did on the Tourmalet, Jumbo-Visma dominated the Altu de l’Angliru with Primoz Roglic taking victory ahead of Jonas Vingegaard and Sepp Kuss. The Dane matched the Slovenian’s pace but the American leader, on his 29th birthday, lost 19’’ on the line. He still leads the overall standings but Vingegaard moves much closer (+8’’) and Roglic (+1’08’’) also makes his presence felt. With his 12th stage win in La Vuelta, the Slovenian joins Alejandro Valverde as the 9th best scorer in the history of the race. Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) came 4th on a day animated by Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step). Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) is still 4th overall, with a gap of 4 minutes.
It’s the Angliru day! The peloton of La Vuelta 23 face the climbs of Asturias with a mythical summit finish after two cat-1 ascents (Colladiella and Cordal) on the route. Legends are made on these roads. And it inspires many attackers.
Evenepoel and Soler on the early move
As usual in the latest mountain stages, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) is very active from the gun. But it’s a hard battle for the break. The Belgian star finds his opening after 45 kilometres of battle, setting off from the bunch to join earlier attackers at the front.
The escapees cover 49.5 kilometres in the first hour of racing and fly towards the first ascent of the day, the cat-1 Alto de la Colladiella (7.8km at 7.1%). Evenepoel and his teammate Mattia Cattaneo drop everyone.
Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) sets off in pursuit. He trails by 1’ at the summit (48.6km to go) while Jumbo-Visma control the gap around 2’30’’.
Roglic takes his turn
Evenepoel and Cattaneo keep pushing on the valley. The Italian steps aside at the bottom of the cat-1 ascent up the Alto del Cordal (5.4km at 9.2%) and the Belgian goes solo. Bahrain Victorious up the ante. At the summit, Soler trails by 2’15’’ and the bunch by 2’20’’. The Spaniard is caught on the downhill towards the ascent of the Angliru (12.4km at 9.8% with several stretches above 20%).
The gap at the bottom is down to 1’23’’. Evenepoel is caught with 6km to go and Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) ups the ante. Only five riders can follow him into the last 5 kilometres of ascent: his teammates Mikel Landa and Santiago Buitrago, and Jumbo-Visma’s power trio, Sepp Kuss, Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic.
Roglic attacks with 3 kilometres to go. Vingegaard and Kuss join him. But the American climber falters inside the last 2 kilometres and drops 19’’ on the line.