Evenepoel closer to outright La Vuelta victory with stage 18 win
Belgian Remco Evenepoel closed in on victory in the Vuelta a Espana after increasing his overall race lead by winning Thursday's 18th stage
The Quick-Step rider beat his main rival Spaniard Enric Mas of Movistar on the climb to the summit of Piornal on the mountains of Extremadura with Dutch veteran Robert Gesink of Jumbo-Visma trailing in third.
Evenepoel extended his overall lead on Mas to two minutes and seven seconds at the end of a stage marked by numerous attacks.
It was the second stage victory on this year's Vuelta for 22-year-old Evenepoel after his success in the individual time-trial between Elche and Alicante on stage 10.
An accident at the start of the day caused the leader of the climbers' classification, Australian Jay Vine, to retire and seriously affected Spaniard Carlos Rodriguez, fifth overall, who managed to finish the stage.
??Jay Vine, completamente desolado después de la caída sufrida al inicio de la etapa que le ha obligado a abandonar #VueltaRTVE8S #LaVuelta22— Teledeporte (@teledeporte) September 8, 2022
Se despide con dos triunfos de etapa
Richard Carapaz, presente en la fuga, pasa a ser nuevo líder de la montañahttps://t.co/faBKgV8SJe pic.twitter.com/teQsR2N006
Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz will pull on the blue polka dot jersey on Friday, a mid-mountain stage around Talavera de la Reina, which will include two second-category climbs at the Pielago pass.
Stage 19 tomorrow is a circuit from Talavera Reina, short but deceiving. The stage consists of a circuit involving two climbs of the Piélago mountain pass. 130 km in total that will force the breakaway to buckle down if it wants to do well. Look out for the riders with a good top speed who do well mid-mountain as they will have real options to win here.
VIDEO: Stage 18 Highlights
Stage 18 Top 10
1 BEL Remco Evenepoel Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 04:45:17
2 ESP Enric Mas Movistar Team + 02
3 NED Robert Gesink Jumbo-Visma + 02
4 AUS Jai Hindley BORA-hansgrohe + 13
5 NED Thymen Arensman Team DSM + 13
6 FRA Thibaut Pinot Groupama-FDJ + 13
7 AUS Ben O'Connor AG2R Citroën Team + 13
8 ESP Juan Ayuso UAE Team Emirates + 13
9 COL Miguel Ángel López Astana Qazaqstan Team + 13
10 POR Joao Almeida UAE Team Emirates + 13
GC after Stage 18
01 BEL Remco Evenepoel Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team 69:59:12
02 ESP Enric Mas Movistar Team + 02:07
03 ESP Juan Ayuso UAE Team Emirates + 05:14
04 COL Miguel Ángel López Astana Qazaqstan Team + 05:56
05 ESP Carlos Rodriguez INEOS Grenadiers + 06:49
06 POR Joao Almeida UAE Team Emirates + 07:14
07 NED Thymen Arensman Team DSM + 08:09
08 AUS Ben O'Connor AG2R Citroën Team + 09:34
09 COL Rigoberto Uran EF Education-EasyPost + 09:56
10 AUS Jai Hindley BORA-hansgrohe + 12:03