Stage 18 of the Vuelta a Espana has been rather overshadowed by far more significant events, especially here in the UK, but today in Spain, the show did go on. Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) won his second stage win on the final summit finish of the final Grand Tour of the year. You’d think bar accident this all but consolidates his overall victory of this year’s race. There was heartbreak for Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma) who came within 500m of the line only to be pipped to the post by ruthless Remco. Enric Mas (Movistar), who attacked everywhere he could, took second place on the day, with Gesink deservedly rounding out the podium.
Here’s your highlights
🇬🇧 📽️ 𝐀𝐥𝐥 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐡𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐞 1️⃣8⃣
🔥A big crash involving several jersey wearers, a highly talented 40 man break and a BIG final statement of intent by the man in red. ⚡
— La Vuelta (@lavuelta) September 8, 2022
To take a mountain stage in the leader’s jersey is what most riders dream of
"In the winter I worked a lot on my sprint after a big effort, so it paid off." 💪@EvenepoelRemco recaps a dream day for himself and the Wolfpack @qst_alphavinyl 🤩
🇪🇸 #LaVuelta22 pic.twitter.com/dWgJc25kAi
— Velon CC (@VelonCC) September 8, 2022
Jay Vine Abandoned
This year’s Vuelta is delivering blow after blow, and today’s victim was Australia’s Jay Vine. Due to an untimely crash Vine was forced to abandon the race, and give up his stronghold on the polka dot jersey. And he’d been rocking it so well!
One minute your the hammer, next your the nail. https://t.co/H0kbW61RYO
— Mark Renshaw (@Mark_Renshaw) September 8, 2022
Unfortunately I'm going to have to abandon #lavueltamunecas 2022. Fatigue & lack of creativity (dolly block) to blame. I was hoping to bring back the wheel to complete the trilogy (the wheel of redemption) but everyone who was on it then crashed, got sick, lost time etc.
— MrsFrog (@musettedutour) September 8, 2022
INEOS Grenadiers’ Richard Carapaz now moves into the lead on the King of the Mountains competition.
Brothers in arms
Being the new King of the Mountains is not the reason I want to mention Carapaz today though. Despite a hugely successful second couple of weeks at La Vuelta, and surely being in with a good chance of doing well on today’s final climb, Richard Carapaz sacrificed his chance to support teammate Carlos Rodriguez to finish the stage. Rodriguez was in a huge amount of discomfort and pain following a crash, and looking at the injuries, its not surprising! Carlos has dropped to fifth overall on GC, but how much further he would have fallen without help.
— COPEdaleando (@Copedaleando) September 8, 2022
A helping hand 🤝
— INEOS Grenadiers (@INEOSGrenadiers) September 8, 2022
Invincible to can’t catch a break
Jumbo-Visma went from ruling the roost at this year’s Vuelta, literally passing the jersey between them for the first four days or so, to the tides truly turning against them. Sepp Kuss going home with COVID-19, Primoz Roglic lighting up the racing after struggling to find his form again only to crash out, and now Robert Gesink having a victory ripped away from him moments from the line.
It is just me or does Jumbo Visma passing the red jersey between themselves in the first few days feels like ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO? #LaVuelta22
— Scribe Katy of Watford (@writebikerepeat) September 8, 2022
Remco gave no gifts, and took the march on Gesink and the victory. Reminds me of a certain other Jumbo rider with a similar ruthless edge…
Kiss. Of. Death. https://t.co/2ZwsI34pwK
— Will Newton (@InsidePeloton96) September 8, 2022
NO GIFTS #LaVuelta22
— Arrière du peloton – Tom (@reardupeloton) September 8, 2022
And this guy…
… was involved in the crash that sent Jay home and Carlos battered and bleeding. He survived another day in the Green Jersey, – onwards to Madrid!
Home safe 💚
— Trek-Segafredo (@TrekSegafredo) September 8, 2022
Sadly, this Vuelta really feels like it has lost any spark to me – but Gesink’s efforts and Carapaz’ selflessness did bring me a little joy on a rather bleak day.
"I never imagined I would compete for the stage win in this grand tour ever again." ~ Robert Gesink
Read more in our report!👇
— Team Jumbo-Visma cycling (@JumboVismaRoad) September 8, 2022
Thank you Ma’am, for everything.
— Paddington (@paddingtonbear) September 8, 2022
Stage 17 Top 5
1 Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 4:45:17
2 Enric Mas (Movistar) +0:02
3 Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma) S/T
4 Jai Hindley (Bora Hansgrohe) +0:13
5 Thymen Arensman (Team DSM) S/T
GC Top 10
1 Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl ) 69:59:12
2 Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:07
3 Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) +5:14
4 Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Qazaqstan) +5:56
5 Carlos Rodriguez (INEOS Grenadiers) +6:49
6 João Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +7:14
7 Thymen Arensman (Team DSM) +8:09
8 Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroen Team) +9:34
9 Rigoberto Uran (EF Education-EasyPost) +9:56
10 Jai Hindley (Bora-hansgrohe) +12:03
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