Remi Cavagna took a brilliant solo victory on stage 19 of the Vuelta a Espana as Primoz Roglic maintained his grip on the leader’s red jersey despite crashing.
The 165km ride from Avila to Toledo was pockmarked by rain and intense crosswinds, leading to a heavy crash involving multiple riders, including Roglic and fourth-placed Miguel Angel Lopez on a descent just past the 100km mark.
Roglic and Lopez both came off their bikes, while Roglic’s team mate Tony Martin was forced to abandon due to injuries suffered in the collision.
Team Movistar, containing second-placed Alejandro Valverde and third overall Nairo Quintana, attacked moments later, much to the annoyance of the peloton.
Team Ineos’s Owain Doull told Eurosport: “It depends if they were riding out ahead beforehand – if they weren’t then that was shocking.
“It’s not like they did it for a few kilometres and then sat up, it was pretty divided for a while. If I were Roglic and Jumbo I wouldn’t be happy. I’m not happy and it had nothing to do with me.”
Movistar’s sporting director Jose Luis Arrieta told Spanish television that the team had always planned to attack after that descent and accused the UCI of dictating that Roglic and Lopez be allowed to join the main group by moving in the slipstream of team cars, something which is not usually permitted.
In just his second grand tour, Cavagna claimed a first-ever stage win after riding away from the breakaway with 24km to go. He finished five seconds ahead of the chasing peloton, who caught the rest of the break with just over one kilometre of the cobbled uphill finish remaining.
Roglic leads Valverde by two minutes and 47 seconds with tomorrow’s 190km mountain stage – containing five climbs – from Arenas de San Pedro to Plataforma de Gredos realistically the world champion’s final chance to claw back time on the Slovenian.
Vuelta a Espana 2019 – stage 19 results (Ávila – Toledo):
|1||Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|2||Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|3||Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|4||Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|5||Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)|
|6||Tosh Van Der Sande (Lotto Soudal)|
|7||Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida)|
|8||Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)|
|9||Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)|
|10||Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)|
|11||Damien Touze (Cofidis)|
|12||Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)|
|13||Dion Smith (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|14||Dorian Godon (AG2R La Mondiale)|
|15||Alexander Aranburu (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA)|
|16||Jonas Koch (CCC)|
|17||Clement Venturini (AG2R La Mondiale)|
|18||Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto Soudal)|
|19||Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|20||Nairo Quintana (Movistar)|
Vuelta a Espana 2019 – general classification after stage 19:
|1||Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)|
|2||Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)|
|3||Nairo Quintana (Movistar)|
|4||Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)|
|5||Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)|
|6||Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)|
|7||Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)|
|8||Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto Soudal)|
|9||James Knox (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)|
|10||Marc Soler (Movistar)|
|11||Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|12||Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)|
|13||Dylan Teuns (Bahrian-Merida)|
|14||Sergio Higuita (EF Education First)|
|15||Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Merida)|
|16||Ion Izagirre (Astana)|
|17||Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha-Alpecin)|
|18||Nicolas Edet (Cofidis)|
|19||Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott)|
|20||Kilian Frankiny (Groupama-FDJ)|