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Higuita solos to Vuelta stage 18 victory as Roglic remains in the driving seat

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Primoz Roglic took a step closer to winning the Vuelta with a strong second-place finish on the 18th stage on Thursday, increasing his overall lead entering the final stretch of the three-week race.

Sergio Higuita won the 177.5-kilometer stage after breaking away and fending off a late charge by Roglic and Alejandro Valverde. It was the first Grand Tour stage win for the 22-year-old rider from team EF Education First.

“In the end I had more heart than legs. I was really suffering,” Higuita said. “The Colombian fans lining the road gave me an extra kick. I’m so happy to win this stage to pay back everyone that believed in me.”

Roglic increased his lead to 2 minutes, 50 seconds going into the final two competitive stages before the finale in Madrid on Sunday.

Valverde moved back to second overall after this third-place finish on Thursday.

Roglic and Valverde crossed the line 1:01 ahead of Quintana and Pogacar, reshuffling the battle for the overall. Quintana fell to third place overall and Pogacar fell to fifth.

Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R La Mondiale) starred in the day’s break, cresting two summits in pole position to extend his lead in the polka dot jersey king of the mountains competition.




Vuelta a Espana 2019 – stage 18 results (Colmenar Viejo – Becerril de la Sierra):

1Sergio Higuita (EF Education First)

4:33:09

2Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

+15”

3Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

,,

4Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)

,,

5Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)

+17”

6Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto Soudal)

+01’16”

7Louis Meintjes (Dimension Data)

,,

8Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

,,

9Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

,,

10Oscar Rodriguez (Euskadi-Murias)

+03’47”

11Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Merida)

,,

12Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)

,,

13Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R La Mondiale)

+04’16”

14Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Ineos)

,,

15Marc Soler (Movistar)

+04’22”

16Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)

+04’50”

17James Knox (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

,,

18Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott)

,,

19Kilian Frankiny (Groupama-FDJ)

,,

20Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha-Alpecin)

,,

 

Vuelta a Espana 2019 – general classification after stage 18:

1Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

71:16:54

2Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

+02’50”

3Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

+03’31”

4Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana)

+04’17”

5Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)

+04’49”

6Rafal Majka (Bora-hansgrohe)

+07’46”

7Wilco Kelderman (Team Sunweb)

+09’46”

8Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto Soudal)

+11’50”

9James Knox (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

+12’44”

10Marc Soler (Movistar)

+21’09”

11Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-Scott)

+22’16”

12Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)

+22’29”

13Dylan Teuns (Bahrian-Merida)

+23’58”

14Sergio Higuita (EF Education First)

+32’09”

15Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Merida)

+33’49”

16Ion Izagirre (Astana)

+36’48”

17Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha-Alpecin)

+40’14”

18Nicolas Edet (Cofidis)

+43’00”

19Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott)

+43’11”

20Kilian Frankiny (Groupama-FDJ)

+47’25”