Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma) won by gap the queen stage of the 76th Vuelta Espana along the 186 kilometers that led the race from Unquera to Lagos de Covadonga. It was the 22nd time that the Vuelta had placed the finish banner at the top of this iconic Asturian ruggedness. As in previous occasions, even today the judgment that emerged from the leg that has just ended will have a decisive weight on the final outcome of the Iberian race. The Slovenian has a distance of 1’35 “from a group including all the best of the general classification. To complete the triumph Jumbo Visma, the faithful squire of the champion of Trbovlje, the American Sepp Kuss, took the place of honor with the Colombian Miguel Angel Lopez (Team Movistar) who finished third.
Roglic is also back in possession of the roja jersey, thanks to the collapse of the Norwegian Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarchè Wanty Gobert) who reached the finish line by more than 6 minutes. Now the Olympic time trial champion leads the ranking with an advantage of 2’22 “over the Spaniard Enric Mas (Team Movistar) followed by his teammate Miguel Angel Lopez, 3’11” behind.
The chronicle of the stage focuses on the announced attack by Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) 61 kilometers from the finish on the second ascent to Collada Llomena. Only Roglic responded to the click of the winner of the last Giro d’Italia. The two quickly gained two minutes on the group, an advantage that fell, under the action of the Bahrain Victorious, 90 seconds to minus 15 from the arrival, at the start of the final steep. At 8,000 meters from the finish, Bernal gave way, without Roglic’s sprint, being caught by his pursuers at the red triangle of the last kilometer. The Jumbo Visma standard bearer completed a rare, for him, victory by detachment with a liberating scream as he crossed the finish line. After the Swiss Toni Rominger (1992/94) and the Spaniard Roberto Heras (2003/05) he too will conquer the Vuelta on Sunday for the third consecutive year.
A fraction on very hard paper is scheduled for tomorrow. In the 163 kilometers from Salas to the Altu d ”El Gamoniteiru, the Alberto Fernandez peak of this edition of the Vuelta, there will be more than 4,000 meters in altitude to overcome. The final climb is the hardest of those scheduled for the three weeks of competition. That said, unless the Movistar Team decides to attack Roglic from a distance, it is unlikely that after today’s emphatic test of the Slovenian champion there will be a battle that calls into question the final destination of the roja jersey.