Evenepoel flew to his first Grand Tour stage win

Belgium won the Vuelta individual time trial

Pictures with text "Evenepoel flew to his first Grand Tour stage win"
Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) in the Belgian finals trial. | Photo: Cor Vos

08/30/2022 | (rsn) – Remco Evenepoel (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl) is considered the big favorite for the individual time trial of the 10th stage of this year’s Vuelta a Espana. What the 22-year-old Belgian showed in the distance of 30.9 km between Elche and Alicante was more than impressive: Evenepoel won in 33:18 minutes with 48 seconds over the defending champion Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), the third place went to Remi Cavagna (Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl, +1:00), who led the daily ranking for a long time.

With his first Grand Tour stage victory, the Vuelta debutant opened his lead in the overall standings after the second rest day – Evenepoel is now 2:41 minutes ahead of Roglic, who passed Enric Mas (Movistar) in the standings, who is ranked. Three is now 3:03 minutes behind.

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After his best time, Cavagna predicted that his team-mate would deliver about two hours later on a smooth track. “It’s a great song for Remco. Power and aerodynamics, that’s a winning combination. I think he is the best,” said the Frenchman and rightly so.

With an average speed per hour of 55.6 kilometers per hour, the man in the red shirt has set the clear best time in all intermediate measurements and may catch up with Mas, who started two minutes before him, with only time trials. A little more.

“48 seconds is a big surprise. Remi is very good, that is perfect for me. Because that’s how I know how to approach the race. Many riders lost in the second leg. Evenepoel added: I have to get a very consistent performance from Wat, adding: “The finish was really tough, my legs were on fire on the last hill, but it was great to win in the leader’s jersey. Now I have the victory in my bag, we are happy with that and everyone in the team is doing really well this time. We want to keep the jersey and bring it home to Wevelgem.”


Mas: “Remco is in a league of its own these days

The Belgian’s new follower is now defending champion Roglic, who has overtaken Movistar captain Mas in the overall record. The 27-year-old finished 10th in 1:51. “I’m not happy with my performance but it’s okay. I don’t like discipline very much. But harder days are coming. Remco is in a league of its own today,” Mas concluded.

“Congratulations to Remco. He’s on a different level. I’m proud of my time trial and I think that’s a good result,” Roglic, who was clearly defeated, paid tribute to the high pilot of this Vuelta.

The young Spaniard Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos) showed a very good performance, taking fourth place in the daily classification (+1: 22) and also defending his fourth place in the overall classification (+3: 55). Simon Yates improved to fifth (+4:50) for seventh of the day and passed Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates/ +4:53). The winner of the Giro Jai Hindley (Bora – on the other hand, did not have a good day, lost 3:48 minutes and dropped from ninth to 13th (+9: 24) in the classification.

Ayuso’s teammate Joao Almeida made a mistake in the final lap and had to turn around, losing a lot of time in the process. In the end, the Portuguese finished in 15th place, but managed to defend his seventh place (+6:45) in the overall table, just ahead of the ninth place Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Qazaqstan / +6:50).

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Here’s how the contest goes:

After the second rest day, the Vuelta field was reduced by eight drivers – six of whom had to leave the race due to positive Corona tests. Shortly before the start, the departure of two-time stage winner Sam Bennett (Bora – hansgrohe) due to Covid-19 was also reported.

Two measurement points are set at kilometer 10.4 and kilometer 21 on the flat road, which first leads from Elche in an easterly direction to the sea and then up the coast to Alicante. With temperatures above 30 degrees, the former French champion, Cavagna showed himself strongly with an average speed of more than 54 km/h with a time of 34:18 minutes, almost one minute off the best time of Michael Hepburn (BikeExchange – Jayco).

After a very good first break, two-time world champion Rohan Dennis (Jumbo – Visma) dropped significantly and finally had to settle for 19th place. US time trial champion Lawson Craddock (BikeExchange – Jayco) was much stronger, even in second place for a while, only to finish sixth. Simon Yates (BikeExchange) also put in a convincing performance, initially just two seconds behind Cavagna to finish seventh after 31km.


Evenepoel pulverized the time of the early competitors

Climbing specialist Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën team) surprised with a strong intermediate time and then beat Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), who started two minutes ahead of him, only missing the top ten in the finish in twelfth place.

Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) was stopped at the same time as the local leader Cavagna in the first measuring point, but then could not maintain a high pace and finally finished in fifth place, one position behind his teammate Rodriguez, who was again the best Ineos. the driver. Roglic was the third rider to finish in the same second as Cavagna and Sivakov after 10.4km, and Mas was just three seconds behind. But that was all for naught when Evenepoel smashed the trio’s time by 21 seconds at the first measurement point.

Roglic was a second slower than Cavagna at the second measuring point, Mas lost more time here – and Evenepoel extended his lead over Cavagna to 36 seconds after 21 kilometers.


Roglic “best of the rest” after a strong final

Unnoticed by the cameras, climbing specialist Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Qazaqstan) performed a remarkable performance. The Colombian paired up with Giro winner Jai Hindley (Bora – hansgrohe) before the finish line and ended up taking a surprising ninth place, while the Australian couldn’t get past 44th place and dropped out of the top ten in the overall classification. .

With a strong finish, defending champion Roglic pushed the Frenchman out of first place by a clear twelve seconds, but he couldn’t enjoy that for long. Evenepoel was able to improve again in the last ten kilometers and even almost overtake Mas, who started the race two minutes ahead of him and who finished in tenth. The winner over the 3-time Vuelta champion Roglic was 48 seconds and the third-placed Cavagna tied for 1 minute.

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