João Almeida attacked on Thursday in the 18th stage of the Vuelta a Espanha, but the hassle didn’t bear a lot fruit for the Portuguese. The Emirates rider had extra possibilities than his rivals, but the competing pursuits of a number of groups ended up robbing the Portuguese of what he got here to conquer in the afternoon.
In the top, Almeida got here in tenth place, in the group of favorites, on the hill received by Remco Evenepoel, who strengthened the management of the good – he beat Enric Mas and Robert Gesink in the ultimate, and the Dutchman has a nasty report. on the finish of the meter from the top, after the flight.
However, not all the pieces was in useless. Almeida proved that he is fantastic (the Portuguese would have appreciated the match to proceed for one more week), for the reason that power he had throughout the stage – he spent plenty of time alone – didn’t cease him from following his opponents after they had been defeated. a big group.
In this manner, Almeida was in a position to purchase time from Carlos Rodríguez, who fell throughout this time, misplaced the fourth place to Miguel Ángel López and had the Portuguese “on the leg” for five fights (Almeida has 25 seconds). , Rodríguez, with wounds throughout his physique, might endure in the subsequent few days).
At the top of the stage, Mputizizi defined the plan: “I needed to strive from afar, to pressure the groups that needed to use their seats. Soler helped me rather a lot, but he had to save power to assist Ayuso, who is essential proper now, as a result of we wish him to hold the rostrum”.
the way it all occurred
Already with an enormous explosion on the entrance (and the winner of the stage will come out of it), Brandon McNulty “pulled” João Almeida into the center seat, successful greater than a minute and a half from the peloton – protecting that hole on the finish. of the day, the Portuguese once more enter the battle for the tower.
McNulty couldn’t have the legs to assist the Portuguese, who rolled just a few kilometers, till one of many runners of the Emirates, Ivo Oliveira, stopped on the finish of his ascent, to watch for his chief.
the founding father of runners and the medalist on the observe nonetheless helped Almeida for a number of kilometers flat, but the work of Astana in the peloton (much less in permitting the Portuguese to steal the highest 5 from Miguel Ángel López) to scale back the distinction to the bike owner in Caldas da Rainha.
Marc Soler was in entrance, who may have certainly one of three missions: to assist Almeida in varied assaults, later to assist Ayuso on the final climb of the day or to make, as he did earlier than, a race for himself, to struggle for victory. step. The Spaniard’s determination with the Emirates was the primary choice.
Soler waited for Almeida, gave him two bottles of water and “pulled” the Portuguese for lengthy kilometers: first, then on the bottom.
This work of Soler allowed Almeida to attain the primary group that contained the “remnants” of the fugitives – in entrance there was solely the highest “plant” with Carapaz, Pinot, Carthy, Higuita, Gesbert and Gesink.
Almeida’s downside was that Nibali, who was on the run, dropped back and went to the chief of the group of Evenepoel, Mas and López. Down, as he at all times does, the Italian rapidly diminished the hole to Almeida’s group and ended the Portuguese dream in the intervening time – but not fully.
The two groups had been in a position to join and there have been, then, miles of animation till the top. He attacked Evenepoel, Mas, López, Urán, O’Connor and even Almeida himself. The energy was clear and the primary two of all, Evenepoel and Mas, had little to add in the final kilometer, with a particular energy from Belgium.
For this Friday there is a stage that may explode. There is a hill, but and not using a excessive finish – it ends with a descent after which a flat space – it may be good for a duel between a gaggle of refugees. In any case, two days earlier than the top of the Vuelta, the potential of making one of many groups preventing for a greater place in the final group can’t be dominated out.