High nerves before last big battle

13 September 2019
Imagen de la noticia ‛High nerves before last big battle’

La Vuelta (st. 19) / Tour of Britain (st. 7)

A multiple crash and echelons towards Toledo agigate La Vuelta’s stage 19, prelude to Saturday’s mountain showdown in the Sierra de Gredos. Cavagna (DQT) wins solo as Valverde, Quintana remain 2nd + 3rd overall.

Frenchman Rémi Cavagna (DQT) claimed a solo victory, after attacking off an early, 11-man breakaway, on stage nineteen of the 2019 Vuelta a España, a fast, rainy, windy course from Ávila to Toledo where crashes and stress overshadowed the second half of the race.

A split in the bunch just over 60km from the end, due to a crash into a narrowing descent, left race leader Primoz Roglic (TJV) and Miguel Ángel López (AST) about a minute behind a first peloton containing Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana. The subsequent regrouping did not keep some more echelons from forming, with Valverde followed by López while Roglic and Quintana were left behind. The stress was high right until the finish, with Valverde (5th) putting  some meters on the other GC contenders – which weren’t taken into account by the race jury.

Valverde crosses Toledo’s finish in 5th place. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

La Vuelta will witness its mountain showdown on Saturday with a race in endless ups and downs, 190km with no flat roads from Arenas de San Pedro to the Plataforma de Gredos (Cat-3), over six rated ascents – and almost the entire stage over 1,000m above sea level – that include the Alto de Peña Negra (Cat-1), 35km from the end.

Tour of Britain: Amador remains 8th after Queen stage

In turn, Mathieu Van der Poel (COC) used again his unmathable power at the uphill sprint at the end of stage seven in the Tour of Britain, over 188km with a circuit around three climbs of Burton Dassett (slopes up to 13%). The young Dutchman thuse increased to 12″ his gap over second-placed Matteo Trentin (MTS) in a GC where Andrey Amador (Movistar Team), who stayed with the main contenders at the sprint -17th, +5″-, sits now in 8th place, 57″ back.

Verona in the break during the penultimate stage of the Tour of Britain. (c) SWPix.com

Carlos Verona sought unfruitfully during today’s stage to get into the early break, eventually caught before the final circuit. There’s only one stage remaining in the race, with 166km starting from Altrincham and featuring some hills in the first half of the course, yet a flatter end towards Manchester’s last finish line.

2019 Tour of Britain – Stage 7 results

Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto