Is it just me or does no one want to keep the red jersey for any amount of time? Stage 8 of Vuelta2019 wasn’t going to be a day for the GC boys, but I don’t think anyone anticipated that there would be a leader by the finish. In the end, the break claimed the day with Sunweb’s Nikias Arndt taking the victory on a wet, chaotic finish in Igualada. The best placed rider in the break was Nicolas Edet and the peloton’s complete lack of interest in controlling the time gap meant the Cofidis rider found himself in the red jersey. He has 2.21 on his fellow breaker Dylan Teuns who also leapt up the GC while Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) is just over 3min down from the top spot.
The thing that has always made the Vuelta special for me was witnessing the overall contenders sprint up unimaginably steep passes as they battled for both stage victory and the elusive leader’s jersey. Prior to today’s finish, I had been missing these types of finishes that I associate with Purito Rodriguez and my youth in this year’s race. Luckily, the Vuelta delivered today with one of their famously punchy, steep finishes that made me fall in love so many years ago.
Stage 6 of the 2019 Vuelta and the shocks just keep on coming. Jesus Herrada finally won a stage for Cofidis, the red jersey changed hands again and a crash took away three top 20 GC riders.