The Vuelta enters its Galician final with a day, the penultimate of the Vuelta, between the Asturian town of Tapia and Monforte de Lemos, a stage that seems designed for a getaway to succeed. At least that seems to be the script for a day in the middle of the mountains with three passes, all located at the beginning: the third Sela d’Entorcisa (9.9 km at 3.9%), the second Alto da Garganta (10.3 km 5.6%) and a second one like Barbeitos (11.8 km at 3.8%). A start (then the end is broken without scoring increases) that seems designed to form a leak between the aspiring to save the honor, both national and their teams.
Because it is striking that Spanish cyclists have not yet celebrated any victory both in this Vuelta (something that had not happened since 1996) and in the big three (it would be the first year since La Vuelta was born). Names such as Izagirre or Jesús Herrada … seem to be the most qualified to try together with the representatives of the invited teams: Caja Rural-Seguros RGA, Euskaltel and Burgos-BH. These are in the great challenge of their season and, despite having been very active, they have not reached the jackpot.
They are not the only ones. Only nine formations have achieved at least one victory in 18 Vuelta stages: Deceuninck (three from Jakobsen and one from Sénéchal), Jumbo (all three from Roglic), DSM (two from Storer and Bardet), Alpecin (two from Philipsen), EF (two from Cort Nielsen), Intermarche (Taaramäe), Bahrain (Caruso), UAE (Majka) and Movistar (López). “There are many times when we miss World Tour teams that barely have a presence in the race, although there have been other worse editions in that sense”, analyzes Xabier Muriel, director of Caja Rural. Although on mountain days like yesterday, the problem is the high level of leaks. There are three days of Vuelta left and only some will be able to recover the credit.