Holy WOW! The hot money was on Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) to win stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana, and that’s exactly what happened. The bare facts speak for themselves. Clad in a red skinsuit Remco rocketed around the 30.9km flat course at an average speed of 55.658kph. Putting 48 seconds into Jumbo-Visma’s Primoz Roglic – the man who had never lost a time trial on Spanish soil, and beating his teammate (and long time stage leader) Remi Cavagna by a minute. He now leads the Vuelta by two minutes and forty one seconds from Roglic with Movistar’s Enric Mas in third
Let the records show that Stage 18 of the Giro d’Italia was taken in fine style by Alberto Bettiol of EF Education-Nippo. The Italian on the US team made it into the 23-man break on the longest stage of the race, attacked with panache over the four climbs in the finale, and soloed over the line in pure, unadulterated joy to take his first victory on home soil. Rather fittingly, considering the race organisers might have laughingly labelled this is a sprint stage, Simone Consonni (Cofidis) revved it up to take second place from Team DSM’s indefatigable Nicolas Roche. The peloton were led over the line, and indeed for most of the 180km after the break went away, by Filippo Ganna (INEOS) some 23 minutes later. There is no change in podium positions with Egan Bernal (INEOS) still in pink and still facing the mountains in the next two stages.
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!