Vuelta | Evenepoel’s weakness = boost for Roglic. A brutal finish can turn everything around

Anyone who has been watching Primož Roglič for some time knows that he doesn’t show much emotion. It is also evident in his expression during the races, especially the three-week ones. And it looked like that on Saturday as well. “Definitely a nice day, but we all know how it is, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose easily,” he said after a stage in which he cut 52 seconds off Evenepoel’s lead. “Hopefully this trend will continue,” he added.

It must be said, after Tuesday’s time trial, after which he let it be known that the Belgian is currently on a different level, it is an optimistic shift.

On the contrary, with Evenepoel, even during the podium ceremonies on Saturday, it was clear that his smile had stiffened a little. On the outside, however, he continues to act as if nothing is happening. “It wasn’t my best day, that’s for sure. I didn’t have the best legs and I couldn’t accelerate when Roglič stepped into it,” admitted the competitor of the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team. But at the same time he added: “I still have a lead of 1:50 in the overall standings, so there is no reason to panic. I will try to recover as much as possible and survive Sunday.”

Profile of the royal 15th stage of the VueltaPhoto by

That’s what it’s all about. The royal stage will check all the leaders for the overall standings. In terms of its length, it belongs to the shorter ones, but looking at its profile, everyone will understand. In the initial part of the climb, only the third category, but in the final third of the category 1 and at the very end an extraordinary category in the Sierra Nevada with an altitude of 2512 meters.

The average gradient of the final climb, the length of which is 19.3 km, is 7.9%. However, the introduction itself, when the road is built to a slope of even 20 percent, can show a lot. Then come kilometers 3 to 6, where the climb does not drop below 10 percent, with the third kilometer being very nutritious. These are the places where you can expect attacks from all the favorites such as Roglič, Enric Mas, Miguel Ángel López, who is riding great on Saturday. The question is how the man in red will fare.

Evenepoel’s advantage may be that he spent a high-altitude camp in the Sierra Nevada and could get to know it better here. “It’s a stage I know well and I think I can plan my efforts a little better in it. There is nothing to fear. It will be a completely different finish than on Saturday. It’s sharp at the start, but it evens out towards the finish line. I still have a lead of 1:50, so it’s still all about defense,” indicated the Belgian.

However, his failure on Saturday poured blood into the veins of his opponents. “To be honest, I didn’t expect Evenepoel to lose time on Saturday. But that’s good news for us, it makes the race more open again. He still has a two-minute lead, but there are more tough days to come. I think Primož is doing well now,” said Jumbo-Visma team sports director Grischa Niermann.

Sunday will show whether Evenepoel is already very close to a sensational triumph on only his second Grand Tour, or whether it will be a big fight mainly between him and Roglic, who is not giving up on the idea of ​​a 4th title in a row!

The end of the royal 15th stage of the Vuelta with an ascent to an altitude of 2512 metersPhoto by

The article is in Czech

Tags: Vuelta Evenepoels weakness boost Roglic brutal finish turn

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