France’s Clement Champoussin caused an upset in the penultimate stage of La Vuelta, launching a smash and grab in the final few meters. Top riders including Roglic and Yates must have wondered where the hell he came from. To be fair to Clement he has had a decent Vuelta, after all he finished third in stage 10. Clement took full advantage of the leading red jersey contenders having eyes only on the big prize which to an extent I can’t blame them. Roglic finished second behind Clement by 6 seconds and is now almost assured of a third consecutive VUELTA , which looked unlikely as late as stage 17.
Roglic leads by 2:38 in the GC. Adam Yates will be disappointed by his 3rd placed finish in this stage having set the standard. The oscillating topography meant this was never going to be a holiday despite being held in a Spanish holiday resort town. This being the final stage of a long three weeks you would expect sone riders to ease up but that wasn’t the case. Egan Bernal did go for it but the demands of the ramps proved too much as it did for Gibbons and Haig. Just check out the final push by Clement in the final meters, the last thrust of La Vuelta, timed to perfection when everyone was tired on the steepest part of the ascent. No one bothered chasing.