La Vuelta reached its 9th stage on Sunday after Australian rider Jay Vine secured his second stage win of the race. Defending champ Primoz Roglic continued to lose ground after this stage, GC leader Belgium’s Remco Evenepoel adding almost a minute to his lead over the dangerous Slovenian who now lies in third. With a time trial coming up after Monday’s rest day, the week has started badly for Primoz. The stage was 171 km with 5 ramp climbs. The last ramp being the defining one so it was important for the GC riders to be within reach of the leading peloton by then.Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl , the team that rides for Remco rode a great race for him keeping pace with the breakaway. It was a feat for Samuele Battistella of Astana team to finish the race in second as he was complaining of lack of support from his team.
He would finish behind first time winner Louis Meintjes of South Africa. Louis climbed really well not letting up in the final climb. Before we get to him how about the L shaped descents on the 3 km to go mark. I for one would be tempted to ride through these sharp descents at the risk of a crash or two. I know this goes against what is normal for cycling which is breaking on descents to ease off the speed to get more control. Lesson one get close to the inner lane of the curve at the apex and go towards the outer lane when you straighten out. Anyway back to Louis, didn’t let up pace on that ramp, psychologically draining if you following him as you know there is little you can do. He didn’t finish eighth in the Tour De France by accident , clearly. The preparation for such a steep climb needs to include a whole nutrition schedule coupled with high altitude training. Louis being South African I bet my bottom rand practices in the Drankensbergs.