Vuelta 2019: Stage 7 – Valverde shines, Lopez retakes lead

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.

Continue reading

Vuelta 2019: Stage 5 – Impenetrable Madrazo wins stage, Lopez regains red

The Vuelta’s first mountain top finish was very much a “wait and see” stage. Wait and see if the breakaway will reach the base of the final climb to contest the stage. Wait and see which GC contenders would perform. Wait and see who would win the stage, and what the new general classification would look like.

After plenty of waiting, we saw an impenetrable team performance by Burgos-BH in the breakaway that led to King of the Mountains jersey holder Ángel Madrazo winning the stage. Madrazo’s teammate, Jetse Bol, secured second while Jose Herrada (Cofidis) succumbed to 3rd after doing the majority of the pace setting. In the peloton behind, it was Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) who stormed away from the likes of Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) to reclaim the leader’s jersey as Sunweb’s Nico Roche suffered behind. Continue reading

Tour de France 2019: Stage 21 – Ewan Takes A Hat Trick, Bernal Brings Home Yellow

Phew. The 2019 Tour de France has concluded, and what a race it has been! It has been a roller coaster of excitement, tears, and everything else in between. It has been the best Tour de France edition that many of us have ever witnessed.

As in customary, the race concluded in Paris with a sprint on the Champs-Élysées. In what has long been considered the World Championship for sprinters, Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) was the final rider to raise his hands in victory at this year’s race. It marks three stage wins for the Tour debutant. The general classification remained unchanged as the peloton coasted along drinking champagne in a congratulatory mood. 22-year-old Egan Bernal (INEOS) has made history as the youngest rider to take home yellow in a century and the first Colombian to win the overall.

Continue reading