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Valverde (4th in Los Machucos) hangs on to La Vuelta podium

6 September 2019
Imagen de la noticia ‛Valverde (4th in Los Machucos) hangs on to La Vuelta podium’

Vuelta a España (st. 13)

World Champion from Movistar Team remains in 2nd place as Slovenians dominate, with Pogacar (UAD) winning in Cantabria ahead of race leader Roglic (TJV), who put 27″ on ‘Bala’.

The Movistar Team fought again with Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana to improve their overall situation in the 2019 Vuelta a España over the brutal climb to Los Machucos (HC), decisive point of stage 13 on Cantabrian soil. Tadej Pogacar (UAD) took his second stage victory after Andorra last Sunday, ahead of Primoz Roglic (TJV), who reinforced his lead with an extra twenty-seven seconds.

Antonio Pedrero was part of the early break. (c) Dario Belingheri / BettiniPhoto

The two Slovenians left behind a sensational Valverde, the last rider able to follow their pace and first of the Blues across the finish, 4th, ahead of Nairo Quintana, who tried to take advantage from his position in the GC, further behind, to attack halfway through the ascent. The Boyacá native finished in 5th, behind his team-mate, and put 34″ on Miguel Ángel López (AST), who struggled near the top despite great work from his team-mates. Marc Soler also shone within the GC contenders: he was 9th at the end, just behind López.

Oviedo will receive La Vuelta on Saturday’s stage fourteen -188km; only one rated climb with the Alto de la Madera (Cat-3)- in this week’s only chance for the sprinters – or, more reasonably, a winning break before the two big Asturias mountain stages on Sunday and Monday.

Valverde, helped out by team carer Juan Carlos Escámez after stage 13. (c) Photo Gomez Sport / Movistar Team

REACTIONS:

Alejandro Valverde: “For the time being, Roglic is the man in the best form in the field, and Pogacar is also showing an impressive pace in the mountains. Seeing how Roglic was moving into the group, I felt he was going to try an acceleration at some point to split our group, and that’s what he did. In those final kilometers, and once the Slovenians rode away, we two, Nairo and myself, tried to keep our own pace, just giving our maximum, trying to lose as little time as possible. What can we do now? We’ll see. We lost some time today against Roglic, but maybe we can inflict him some pain in the upcoming stages – or maybe not. Let’s continue day-by-day, as we’ve done all over this Vuelta. Now it’s about those two big mountain days in Asturias.”

Nairo Quintana: “We’ve given it a try, but Roglic has shown to be the strongest man in the race at this moment. I tried to go into that attack halfway through the climb because I was the one furthest down in the GC, and felt OK in that moment. It’s easy to stay on others’ wheels and see what happens, but in my case I wanted to attempt it, because if you don’t try, you don’t really know hoe you’re doing and which chances you stand. Hopefully the people won’t say you just stayed in the middle, not cracking but not trying either. We’ve seen how everyone’s legs are doing right now, and we’ll need to try other strategies. Let’s see if we can go on another long-range move. There are many decisive stages ahead, and it won’t be easy, it’s a complex situation right now. The only thing I know is we’ll keep on trying.”

Soler completed a great performance over the Los Machucos climb. (c) Dario Belingheri / BettiniPhoto

Marc Soler: “I’m getting stronger and stronger over this race. I’ve finally been able to ride with the GC contenders today; I struggled near the end, but I was there, I could finish just 1’08” down and, even if Roglic put some more time on us, at least we won some against Miguel Ángel for the GC fight. With Nairo’s attack, we tried to make our rivals suffer – but the Slovenians are really strng at the moment. Roglic just follows his own pace, and it’s about you being able to match it. Both him and Pogacar have proven to be in really good condition, but we’ll continue to try finding a weak spot on them in the upcoming stages, and if there’s a chance, we’ll try to gain as much time as possible.”

Cover picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport

Male Team 24 Aug - 15 Sep

Vuelta a España ESP

(13th Stage) Bilbao - Los Machucos (166.4 km)
  1. 01 Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates 4h28'26"
  2. 02 Primoz Roglic Jumbo - Visma "
  3. 03 Pierre Latour AG2R La Mondiale +27"
  4. 04 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team +27"
  5. 05 Nairo Quintana Movistar Team "
  6. 09 Marc Soler Movistar Team +1'08"
  7. 45 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar Team
  8. 54 Nelson Oliveira Movistar Team +13'18"
  9. 55 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team "
  10. 71 Imanol Erviti Movistar Team +18'16"
  11. 90 Jorge Arcas Movistar Team +19'2"
See prov general ranking
  1. 01 Primoz Roglic Jumbo - Visma 49h20'28"
  2. 02 Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team +2'25"
  3. 03 Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates +3'01"
  4. 05 Nairo Quintana Movistar Team +3'33"
  5. 17 Marc Soler Movistar Team +15'27"
  6. 39 José Joaquín Rojas Movistar Team +58'12"
  7. 51 Antonio Pedrero Movistar Team +1h11'49"
  8. 61 Nelson Oliveira Movistar Team +1h25'07"
  9. 93 Jorge Arcas Movistar Team +1h50'25"
  10. 98 Imanol Erviti Movistar Team +1h54'11"
See stage ranking