Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) is set to again win the Vuelta a Espana tomorrow, having minimised his losses to Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) and Hugh Carthy (EF Pro Cycling) on the final summit finish of the race. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) took his second stage win after also taking Stage 11 last Saturday.
The riders in the day’s break hit the final climb of Stage 17, the Alto de La Covatilla (11.4km, 7.1%), with a couple of minutes in hand over the favourites group behind.
Gaudu first bridged to a trio of riders who had earlier pulled away on a cobbled uphill section with 18km to go before dropping them to win the stage by 28 seconds.
The favourites hit the climb together.
Speaking before the stage, Carthy had said he was looking for more than third place. “I don’t know if it’s stupid, but we can be ambitious,” he said.
The Lancastrian duly attacked with 4.5km to go. Carapaz followed, but the two of them couldn’t at that point shake Roglic.
🏁 - 2km | Etapa 17 - Stage 17 | #LaVuelta20
🇪🇨 ¡El esperado ataque de @RichardCarapazM! 💥
🇬🇧 Carapaz goes full gas! He wants to win La Vuelta!
— La Vuelta (@lavuelta) November 7, 2020
With 2km to go, Carapaz made another bid to distance his rival and this time he was more successful. However, the Ecuadorian could only gain 21 seconds by the line – not enough to overall Roglic’s advantage.
Carthy finished six seconds ahead of Roglic and cemented third place overall, the best Grand Tour finish of his career so far.
With just the final sprint stage to come, Roglic will therefore win the Vuelta – a race he won last season – having also won Liege-Bastogne-Liege and finished second at the Tour de France.