La Vuelta a Espana - Volume 2


By Chris Smith

Wednesday 12th July 2018

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This year the Vuelta Espana has taught us one thing; expect the unexpected. Grand Tours are usually cagey affairs, but this Vuelta has been raced flat out, like a series of one day races. 

Stage 7 was meant to be won by a sprinter but a crash in the final kilometers and the relentless winding roads and fast pace meant that the hard man from AG2R, Tony Gallopin won solo.

Stage 8 , also a sprint day on paper included, a 180 degree switchback within 1km to go and a slight uphill drag meant Alejandro Valverde pipped Peter Sagan to the line, showing at 38 he can still mix it with the worlds best sprinters on a technical finale. 

Stage 9 saw the race finish atop the Alto de la Covatilla. Ben King did what he did on Stage 5 again and won from the break. Rudy Molard lost time and Simon Yates scraped into the red jersey by 1 second.  

A rest day followed and then Stage 10 was a fairly to script sprint stage that Elia Viviani won. (His 17th win of the season). 

Stage 11 showed the beautiful northern Spanish coastline and the rolling Galicia roads. Alessandro de Marchi won from the break and Thibaut Pinot should of taken the red jersey only to run out of steam after working too hard. Simon Yates kept his 1 second lead.

Stage 12, the break was given too much time by Simon Yates and Jesus Herrada from Cofidis stole the red Jersey by 3 minutes! The GC contenders will be made to work hard to get it back.

Looking forward to todays race and the weekend, the Vuelta enters Asturias for the next three days. The race will showcase this majestic and mountainous area that we rate as one of Spain's hidden gems for bike riding. A particular highlight will be the summit finish on Sunday on the Lagos de Covadonga

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