Vuelta a Espana 2022 : Stage 14 – Roglic Rocks Remco, stage win for Carapaz

Stage 14 of the Vuelta a Espana lavished upon us more drama than the previous 13 stages combined. Richard Carapaz of Ineos just sneaked the stage win from the day’s break, while further down the craggy slopes of the Sierra de la Pandera, Remco Evenepoel’s grip on the GC contest proved to be less than rock solid as a Primoz Roglic-inspired attack showed us that the young Belgian didn’t have what it took to keep pace with his closest rivals.

Let’s start with the GC drama

It couldn’t have been signposted any clearer. Roglic had his Jumbo teammates up the pace as the group of favourites headed towards the foot of the final climb. Most teams at the Vuelta are depleted, but Remco looked curiously lonely with only teammate Ilan van Wilder riding ahead of him.

The speed that Jumbo imposed was evident as the gap to the breakaway shrunk faster than Movistar’s trophy cabinet.

However, this is a movie we’ve seen before. Countless times in grand tours we’ve seen a team boss it onto the final climb only to melt away when the road goes steep.

And Remco, well… he’s easily absorbed everything thrown at him over the past two weeks and handed out further punishment to those who have tried. Yes, he looked lonely today, but he also looked comfortable.

But it happened! With 4.5km to go to the summit, Roglic got out of his saddle, swung out past the young Quick-Stepper and pressed on.

No Remco reaction.

As Roglic’s rode away, others in the favourite’s group scented blood. One-by-one, they sailed away from Evenepoel. Enric Mas (Movistar), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) Juan Ayuso (UAE) and Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos) all left him behind with ease.

Still no reaction from Remco.

We’ve all had questions about the wunderkind’s ability to perform over a three-week grand tour, but the further into the race we’ve gone, it seemed like Remco has the answers.

Today he couldn’t cope.

When the going got tough, he couldn’t get going. Was the Belgian just out of gas, or is this a permanent setback?

To see his closest rivals ride away from him with ease today won’t have been a great sight for him. There’s still plenty of climbing to do and you can bet they will try to put him to the sword from now on.

He will be buoyed by his ability to dig in and limit his losses. At the time Roglic and his followers set off, it looked like Remco could be shipping minutes on GC. Even if his shoulders rocked, his head didn’t go down. He found a rhythm and ploughed on, finishing the stage 48 seconds behind Primoz. It could have been much, much worse.

Prime Primoz

One guy had the balls to take it to Remco today. Primoz Rogilc. What would it take for this guy to stop trying? In an age where many riders seem so scared of losing that they don’t try to win, the Slovenian never shows that he’s beaten.

His plan all day was to go for the stage win. He didn’t get that, but he’s set up the race beautifully for us fans and opened the chinks in Remco’s armoury.

As he rode on up the Sierra de la Pandera, Miguel Angel Lopez and Enric Mas joined him. Those two and others should be thanking Roglic tonight. Not only has Primoz put himself closer to the GC lead, he is the one who has exposed the weaknesses in Quick-Step and Evenepoel that will have ignited ambitions in other riders.

This Vuelta needed someone to spice it up. Today Primoz did just that, with guts, strength and that Primoz attitude that says ‘anything is possible’.

Oh … and the winner

Two wins in three stages. Not bad for Richard “Billy” Carapaz. In fact, more than not bad. If the GC battle hadn’t kicked off, I’d be writing about how the Ecuadorian rode a beautiful race that was smart, strong and determined.

Today’s break of the day didn’t get together until after an hour of feisty break forming battles. The EF-bound Carapaz found himself in good company with riders like Luis Leon Sanchez (Bahrain) and Kenny Elissonde (Trek). As his break mates dropped away, Carapaz soloed on. The GC rampage behind him cut his advantage, but never threatened Billy’s stage win.

After the stage, Carapaz says he quite fancies tomorrow’s stage as well. Such ambition will never fit in at EF, will it?

Bits and Bobs

This is why I never make predictions

Is it even a VeloVoices stage write up if it doesn’t feature a bromance? [it is not – ed]

What is on the way?

It’s only the Queen Stage. The Sierra Nevada beckons, it’s not very long, but it goes very high. How well will Remco sleep tonight?


Stage 14 results

1 Richard Carapaz (Ineos StageHunters) 4:09:27

2 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Coattails Team) +08

3 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Awesomeness) +08

4 Joao Almeida (UAE Team Invisibleness) +27

5 Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos BadNicknames) +36

6 Enric Mas (Movistar RelegationLooms) +36

7 Thymen Arensman (Team BDSM) +51

8 Remco Evenepoel (Notso Quick-Step) +56

9 Juan Aysuso (UAE NeutralServiceBike) +56

10 Wilco Kelderman (Bora-HansUpWhoKnewHeWasAtThisRace) +1:24

GC Top 10

1 Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl ) 52:21:33

2 Primož Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1:49

3 Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:43

4 Carlos Rodriguez (INEOS Grenadiers) +3:46

5 Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) +4:53

6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Qazaqstan) +6:92

7 João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +6:49

8 Wilco Kelderman (BORA Hansgrohe) +6:56

9 Tao Geoghegan Hart (INEOS Grenadiers) +8:49

10 Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroen Team) +9:12

All the Jerseys

Leader’s jersey : Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl)

Points jersey : Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo)

King of the Mountains jersey : Jay Vine (Alpecin-Deceuninck)

Young Rider Jersey : Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl)

Team competition : UAE Team Emirates

For the full stage review, go to cyclingnews

Go here for the official La Vuelta website

Leave a Reply