Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar Team) won the eighteenth stage of the 76th Vuelta Espana, the second of the two Asturian fractions, which took place along the 163 kilometers from Salas to the Altu d ”El Gamoniteiru. The Colombian climber was 14 ″ ahead of the Slovenian Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma), increasingly master of the race. In third place was the Spaniard Enric Mas (Team Movistar), 20 ″ “behind, two seconds ahead of the winner of the last Giro d’Italia, Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers).
The time trial Olympic champion has strengthened his red jersey. Now he can boast a 2’30 lead over Enric Mas with Miguel Angel Lopez third at 2’53 ”.
As thrilling as the last 5,000 meters were, this highly anticipated stage said very little. There was a long solo from Australian Michael Storer (Team DSM). The winner of the stages of Balcon de Alicante and Rincon de la Victoria got his fill of points in the first two climbs of the day, thus stealing the climbers’ polka dot jersey from his teammate Romain Bardet. On the final climb, the oceanic was overtaken by the Spaniard David de la Cruz (UAE Emirates), then slipped by Lopez three kilometers from the finish.
The third to last act is staged tomorrow. The nineteenth stage will take the riders from Tapia to Monforte de Lemos. They are 191 kilometers very rough at the start but definitely more affordable in the final phase. The games in this Vuelta being now made, we should see a flight of supporting actors that will be successful.