Stage 20 of Vuelta 2019 – the final mountain stage and traditionally the last stage for GC podium action. However, let’s face it, with this Vuelta, anything could happen tomorrow in Madrid! But back to today. It was the last-chance saloon for Astana and Movistar to try either to unseat Primoz Roglic or challenge or solidify the other podium places. But it was the youngster Tadej Pogacar who had the boldness to take the race by the scruff of the neck. Taking his chance from 40km out, he quickly got the better of the red jersey group, keeping them at a safe distance the whole way. During his 40km solo ride, he took the white jersey off of Miguel Angel Lopez, picked up bonus seconds for winning the intermediate sprint (with himself), pushed Nairo Quintana off the third step of the podium and even briefly threatened Alejandro Valverde‘s second step before taking his third stage in his very first grand tour. What do we say to that? Hell YEAH!
We’re looking back on the second week of racing in the Vuelta 2019 with a quick trawl through the Twitterstream. We have Philippe Gilbert‘s Flanders-style win, Jakob Fuglsang‘s first GT victory, young’uns Tadej Pogacar and Sepp Kuss, ideas for our new mystery series starring Tosh Van Der Sande (PI), and baby animals hitching a ride with Thibaut Pinot.
Who would have thought that, at the start of Stage 16 of Vuelta 2019, Jakob Fuglsang still hadn’t won an individual stage in a grand tour!?! Seems absolutely unbelievable, but it was true. However, it’s not true any more. On the second day in the quite simply stunning Asturian mountains, the mist rolled in as the Astana rider made his decisive attack on his fellow breakers with 7km to go. Shrugging off Gianluca Brambilla (Trek) and never letting Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos) within 15sec of his back wheel, Fuglsang rode to the summit of the Alto de la Cubilla as the fog got thicker to take his very first individual grand tour stage. There were cheers all round!