LA VUELTA Men | Stage 14
160km to go – Flurries of attacks
And amid the high-paced battle to make the break, poor old Guillaume Martin has had a mechanical and been forced to chase back onto a stampeding bunch. Not the ideal start to a day where he could conceivably take the La Vuelta red jersey for the first time in his career, but better to have the glitch at the start of the day than the end I suppose!
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No break has stuck yet, although a bunch of nine riders did get a little but of a margin a few minutes ago.
165km to go – A change of jersey?
We’re off and running now, with no word yet on who has made the breakaway (or if there even is one at this point).
It feels like today we’ll see a change in the race lead. No disrespect to Odd Christian Eiking, the maillot rojo when the race left the marvellously-named start town of Don Benito this morning, but it would take something truly extraordinary for him to still be in the lead come day’s end. The Norwegian was done credibly on La Vuelta’s climbs thus far, but you feel that if the top GC favourites really light things up he’ll struggle to defend his lead.
Second place at the start of the day was Guillaume Martin, 58 seconds down on Eiking. On paper, Martin is a strong enough climber to take that from Eiking on a day like today – but cycling is a funny sport, and the power of a leader’s jersey to help a rider find an extra 10% from somewhere deep down is well-known. And of course, Primoz Roglic currently sitting 1’56” down is capable of blowing absolutely everyone away and making up that whole two minute time gap – if he has the inclination.
Welcome to the La Vuelta Stage 14 live blog!
And after a transitional week that saw all sorts of finishes and varied stage winners, we are back on mountainous ground today with a parcours that will surely suit just one type of rider: the climber.
Whether we get a breakaway to contest the stage victory or the big dogs will scrap it out for themselves remains to be seen. The stage kicks off soon at 11:50am UK time, and we’re expecting a fierce competition for the day’s early move.
Stage 13 recap – Senechal the surprise winner on long, hot day
Florian Senechal was not the Deceuninck-Quickstep or even the Frenchman we expected to cross the line with his arms aloft at the end of the seemingly interminable Stage 13 of La Vuelta. The race’s penultimate flat finish was anything but a regular bunch sprint after Deceuninck’s dominance strung out the peloton and killed off all the competition in Villanueva de la Serena.
The Deceuninck train was so strong that even the team’s man in green, Fabio Jakobsen, struggled to keep up – as well as their principal rival on paper, the misfiring French sprinter Arnaud Demare of Groupama-FDJ. Jakobsen, the double stage winner from the Netherlands, almost closed the gap inside the final two kilometres but then pulled up after failing to make the connection.
Italy’s Matteo Trentin, the versatile UAE Team Emirates rider, looked to be the big favourite to pick up his first Vuelta stage win since bagging four in 2017. And when Germany’s Alexander Krieger opened up the sprint in the belief he was leading out Alpecin-Fenix teammate Sacha Modolo, it was Trentin and Senechal who reacted first on the home straight.
But it was the man with just two professional wins to his name who powered ahead, Senechal taking the win by a wheel after Trentin failed to close the gap. Italy’s Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) crossed the line two seconds down in third place before Slovenia’s Luka Mezgec (Team BikeExchange) and Belgium’s Stan Dewulf (AG2R-Citroen) completed the top five.
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Source: Euro Sports