Mads Pedersen took his triptych of victories on Stage 19 of The Vuelta a Espana and there was nothing anyone could do do about it. Trek-Segafredo announced their plan to take the stage at the start of the day, and boy did they deliver. They controlled the breakaway, ensured their man in the green jersey survived the two climbs and then delivered him perfectly with a glorious lead out. From the minute he swung out of the slipstream of Miles Scotson (Groupama-FDJ), there was never a doubt who would cross the line first. Bahrain Victorious’ Fred Wright rode superbly but just could not get past the Dane, he pipped fast finishing Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Deceuninck) to second on the day. There was no change in the GC, but Primoz Roglic had plenty to say in a Jumbo-Visma press release.
Stage 17 of the Vuelta a Espana started with the sad, though not unexpected, news that Primoz Roglic would take no further part in the race and that everyone on the GC shuffled up one place. The racing produced a zinger of attackityness from the breakaway on the final climb to Monasterio de Tentudia. Wait for it! EF Education EasyPost’s Rigoberto Uran (YES REALLY!) chased down Jesus Herrada in the closing metres to take his first win an age and climb into the top ten overall. Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ) pipped Herrada for second. Back in the GC, more surprises awaited as Enric Mas found his Movistar va-va-voom and attacked (I KNOW!) and Team UAE Emirates also channelled Movistar by having Joao Almeida attack and teammate Juan Ayuso cut his advantage.
I have ALL THE LOVE for stage 13 of the Vuelta a Espana for three very good reasons. One: my favourite Dane Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) finally took his stage win in magnificent stomping classics style. Two: Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) showed up at a sprint finish, reminded me how good he is to claim the second step. Three: that rolling finale produced some superb tactical racing. There was no change in the general classification with Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) still in red. However, UAE Team-Emirates’ Juan Ayuso tested positive for Covid, but with a low enough viral load to remain in the race