Kick-starting the final weekend of racing, stage 19 of La Vuelta looked on paper to be a rare opportunity for sprinters to have a chance for success. With just one categorised climb and a profile that was largely flat — by Vuelta standards, at least — one could have reasonably expected that viewers would see another remarkable battle between the likes of Bora-hansgrohe and Deceuninck-QuickStep. Whilst the stage results show a battle between these two, the stage was not the cookie-cutter style that I had planned for. Welcome to La Vuelta!
Stage 18 at La Vuelta served up a spice laden attack fest, a gutsy solo victory and a switcheroo on GC. Stage winning honours went to Sergio Higuita of EF Education First. The young Grand Tour debutant attacked out of the breakaway on the penultimate descent with FIFTY kilometres to go. Tenaciously holding his advantage over an elite chasing foursome all the way to the line. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) outsprinted Alejandro Valverde for second on the stage to strengthen his hold on red. The rainbow clad Spaniard regained second place overall from his Movistar teammate Nairo Quintana. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) never stopped attacking, his fourth place on the stage enough to regain fourth on GC and the Young Rider’s jersey from Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates).
Stage 6 of the 2019 Vuelta and the shocks just keep on coming. Jesus Herrada finally won a stage for Cofidis, the red jersey changed hands again and a crash took away three top 20 GC riders.