Primoz Roglic has taken a storming win on Stage 17 of the Vuelta at Lagos de Covadonga to move back into the red leader's jersey as he seeks a third successive overall victory in the Spanish Grand Tour.
On the first of two days featuring summit finishes in Asturias that may well prove to be decisive for the General Classification, the Jumbo-Visma rider followed an attack by Egan Bernal of Ineos Grenadiers on the day's penultimate climb with 61km remaining of the 185.8km stage from Unquera.
Bernal's attack came shortly after race leader Odd Christian Eiking of Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert had been dropped, and the pair extended their lead on the remainder of the overall contenders' group on the wet descent from that climb and began the final ascent with a lead of 1 minute 30 seconds.
With 8km left to the finish and on the toughest part of the final climb, Roglic accelerated and quickly put distance between himself and the Colombian.
The defending champion would not be caught as he rode back into the red jersey and took the stage win, his third in this year's trace and eighth of his career.
Bernal was caught, however, crossing the line in a group of seven riders led Roglic's team mate Sep Kuss, 1 minute 35 seconds down on the stage winner.
Ahead of tomorrow's much-anticipated summit finish on the Altu d'El Gamoniteiru, making its debut in the race, Roglic has a lead of 2 minutes 22 seconds over Enric Mas, now second overall, with another Movistar rider, Miguel Angel Lopez, a further 49 seconds back in third place.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.