- It was all or nothing for me today as I wanted to reach the podium and it was my only goal today. Our tactics for today was to do all possible to step on the podium. I did all I could in this stage and I think we can be more than happy. I want to thank my team for a huge support today and during all this race. On the final climb I pushed as hard as I could, I did not think about the stage win because if I would begin to play games I could miss the GC podium. Of course when we came to the finish I wanted to win a stage as well, I missed just a little in the final, but I gave my all, so I don't have anything to regret about. My team and I did our best and we can be proud. We still have one stage to go in Madrid and only after the finish I will believe in my second GC podium in this season. - Miguel Angel Lopez.
An interesting final day in the mountains of the 2018 La Vuelta Ciclista a España, with Omar Fraile and Dario Cataldo taking of for the breakaway straight from the start. The group of fifteen riders always stayed within the reach of the peloton. With 38 kilometer to go, Fraile and Cataldo dropped form the leaders to launch the attack of Miguel Angel Lopez from the group of GC and stage favorites. This brave attack didn’t resulted in a time gap, as on the same climb everything came back together. But heading for the penultimate climb, Miguel Angel Lopez attacked again. This time he was together with one more rider, gaining an advantage of less than a minute. But when race leader Simon Yates joined them together with Enric Mas, the four riders made a difference with the other GC contenders.
On the final climb, Simon Yates dropped from the leading group with Lopez and Mas. In the final sprint, it was Mas who was the fastest on the uphill finish. Lopez jumped from a fifth to a third place overall, securing his second Grand Tour podium in 2018. Simon Yates’s finished just behind the two, as he’s now set to win La Vuelta.
Tomorrow the riders will have their final stage, the traditional race into Madrid, normally finishing in a bunch sprint.
Photo credit: Bettiniphoto