Vuelta a Espana: Mas targets Evenepoel after Roglic abandons

By Sports Desk September 07, 2022

Primoz Roglic's withdrawal from the Vuelta a Espana is a huge disappointment for Enric Mas, as he aims to chase down Remco Evenepoel in the final stages of the race.

Three-time reigning champion Roglic crashed just before the line on Tuesday, having looked set to take the lead off Evenepoel, who has now held the red jersey for 12 stages of this year's event.

Roglic's chances of an unprecedented fourth straight Vuelta title are now over after the Slovenian elected to withdraw from the race, leaving Mas as Evenepoel's closest rival.

Yet the Spaniard was unable to close the gap on Wednesday as Evenepoel and his Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl team managed the red jersey group, with both riders collecting the same time after a 162-kilometre route from Aracena to Monasterio de Tentudia.

Rigoberto Uran claimed a breakaway win, sealing his first individual success at La Vuelta, meaning the 35-year-old has now won a stage at each of the Grand Tours.

Jesus Herrada led until just before the finish, with Uran timing his final attack to perfection to hold off Quentin Pacher and become the fourth different Colombian rider to win a stage at La Vuelta since the start of the 2019 edition.

Mas had to settle for 15th, one place behind Evenepoel, and knows his Movistar team will have to come up with something special to topple the Belgian in the race's final days.

"We go day by day, I think every day is super important. Yesterday you all saw the crash of Primoz. We need to be very focused," Mas said. "It's not nice when somebody crashes. He's a super rider, a super good person. I think it's s*** that Roglic is not here anymore.

"I don't know what we're going to do tomorrow, but if we have good legs and a good feeling, and the atmosphere in the team is super good, we have to do something, no?"

Evenepoel betters Merckx 

He may hold a lead of over two minutes, but Evenepoel is not taking anything for granted, and delivered an expertly controlled ride to keep his rivals at bay.

"Pretty tough, it was not easy at all. Especially the run-in was really nervous and also a big road going quite steep. It looked easier on television than it was in real life," he said.

Evenepoel is the first rider to lead La Vuelta for 12 consecutive stages since 2019, when Roglic led for the final 12. The 22-year-old has now overtaken the great Eddy Merckx as fourth on the list of Belgians with the most days leading the race, after Gustaaf Deloor (32), Freddy Maertens (22) and Rick van Looy (13).

STAGE RESULT

1. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education–EasyPost) 3:42:28
2. Quentin Pacher (Groupama-FDJ) same time
3. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) +0:02
4. Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) +0:15
5. Kelly Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) +0:26

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 65:14:05
2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:01
3. Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) +4:51

Points Classification

1. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) 349
2. Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) 149
3. Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) 133

King of the Mountains

1. Jay Vine (Alpecin-Deceuninck) 59
2. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Greandiers) 30
3. Thymen Arensman (Team DSM) 22

Related items

  • Europa League misery will not taint Alonso's Leverkusen pride Europa League misery will not taint Alonso's Leverkusen pride

    Xabi Alonso will not allow Bayer Leverkusen's Europa League final defeat against Atalanta to alter his pride, after their historic 51-game unbeaten run ended on Wednesday.

    The Bundesliga champions were eyeing an unlikely treble, with the DFB-Pokal final to come this weekend, but those plans came crashing down in a 3-0 loss to Atalanta.

    Ademola Lookman single-handedly powered Gian Piero Gasperini's side to their first title in 61 years, producing an individual performance for the ages with a decisive hat-trick.

    European heartbreak marked Leverkusen's first loss this season, with their last defeat coming to Bochum on the last day of the 2022-23 Bundesliga campaign, as Alonso's side were finally stopped.

    Yet the former Liverpool and Bayern Munich midfielder says nothing can take away from Leverkusen's memorable campaign.

    "For me the result today does not change one bit how I feel about my players or what we have been doing," the Leverkusen head coach told TNT Sports.

    "It hurts because we wanted to lift the trophy but you can't have everything. We lifted the Bundesliga and we have the chance to lift the DFB-Pokal on Saturday."

    Leverkusen are the first team to win the league title but lose the UEFA Cup/Europa League final in the same term since Benfica in 2013-14, and the first German side to do since Borussia Dortmund in 2001-02.

    "This season and achievements have surpassed all expectations," Alonso continued.

    "I was hoping and getting ready to maybe do something great but this has been so much more.

    "To achieve what we have for a club like Leverkusen is great. To be in the last week of the season having lifted the Bundesliga and then going for the Pokal too means a lot.

    "First year as a coach, it is going quite well!"

    A monumental occasion at the Aviva Stadium marked Atalanta's first-ever major European trophy as they became the 10th different Italian side to do so, second only to teams from England (13).

    Alonso was unsurprised by the excellence of Gasperini and his Atalanta side, however.

    "It is not something they have just done this year, they have been doing it for many years," the Spaniard said, acknowledging the work of 66-year-old Gasperini.

    "They are a special team. Normally we get in better positions ourselves but today we could not.

    "We were not able to come back and get that back. It was not meant to be.

    "The unbeaten run has come to an end but congratulations to Atalanta, they deserve it, so nothing more to say."

  • 'We wrote history' – Gasperini and Lookman cherish Atalanta's Europa League glory 'We wrote history' – Gasperini and Lookman cherish Atalanta's Europa League glory

    Gian Piero Gasperini and Ademola Lookman both cherished creating Atalanta history after ending Bayer Leverkusen's unbeaten run and securing Europa League glory.

    Lookman produced a performance worthy of the most important European moment in Atalanta's history, securing the club's first-ever major trophy on the continent after his dazzling hat-trick.

    The Nigeria winger is just the sixth player to manage a treble in a major UEFA final and the first since Jupp Heynckes’ for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Twente in 1975.

    Lookman will be the toast of Bergamo when Gasperini's side head home, boasting their first trophy in 61 years – after the Coppa Italia – following a 3-0 triumph to end Leverkusen's 51-game unbeaten run.

    "One of the best nights of my life," the hat-trick hero told TNT Sports in Dublin.

    "Amazing performance from the team, we did it, we did it, we did it! I haven't got much else to say, but fantastic."

    Lookman is also just the second player to score a treble for an Italian side in the final of a major European competition, after Pierino Prati for Milan against Ajax in the 1969 European Cup

    Preparing to leave the Aviva Stadium with the Europa League trophy in hand, Lookman could not wait to celebrate a seismic moment in the club's history.

    "We've got to celebrate, we made history tonight," he added.

    Gasperini, aged 66 years and 117 days on Wednesday, is the oldest coach to win his debut major European final, and the second Italian coach to win the Europa League after Maurizio Sarri in 2019.

    The veteran Atalanta mastermind echoed Lookman's sentiment, after securing just a second trophy in the Italian club's history.

    "I think we wrote history, also for the way we won it," said Gasperini, speaking to UEFA's official media channels.

    "It was just extraordinary, we defeated Liverpool, Sporting who won the championship. When we faced Liverpool they were first in the Premier League... And now the German champions.

    "Incredible. The boys were extraordinary, a memorable performance."

  • Lookman etches name into Atalanta history after Europa League glory against Leverkusen Lookman etches name into Atalanta history after Europa League glory against Leverkusen

    Ademola Lookman will be the toast of Bergamo after his hat-trick inspired Atalanta to Europa League glory, ending Bayer Leverkusen's 51-game unbeaten run after a 3-0 defeat in Dublin.

    Nigeria winger Lookman is just the second player to score a treble for an Italian side in the final of a major European competition, after Pierino Prati for Milan against Ajax in the 1969 European Cup.

    His single-handed match-winning heroics secured Atalanta's first-ever major European trophy as they became the 10th different Italian side to do so, second only to teams from England (13).

    The records continued to tumble for Lookman, whose hat-trick was the sixth in a major UEFA final and the first since Jupp Heynckes’ for Borussia Mönchengladbach against Twente in 1975.

    Having no response to a performance for the ages, Leverkusen suffered their first defeat since their final game of the 2022-23 season, ending a 361-day unbeaten run from last losing 3-0 to Bochum.

    Gian Piero Gasperini's masterclass will etch his name into Atalanta history, with the Italian – aged 66 years and 117 days on Wednesday – the fourth oldest manager to win a major European trophy.

    Only Raymond Goethals (71y 231d, 1993 Champions League), Heynckes (68y 16d, 2013 Champions League) and Alex Ferguson (66y 142d, 2008 Champions League), have done so at an older age.

    Owing to Gasperini's genius and Lookman's quality, Atalanta are the first Italian side to lift the Europa League trophy since its rebrand in 2009, with Parma in 1999 the last Serie A side to win the UEFA Cup.

    Alonso will hope to bounce back in Saturday's DFB-Pokal final but the Bundesliga champions are the first team to win the league title but lose the UEFA Cup/Europa League final in the same season since Benfica in 2013-14, and the first German side to do since Borussia Dortmund in 2001-02.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.