Richard Carapaz on Sunday regained the overall leader’s red jersey from Primoz Roglic in the Vuelta a Espana, opening up a 10-second advantage after stage 12 up the punishing Alto de l’Angliru, as Hugh Carthy pulled off a heroic solo victory.
Briton Carthy pulled clear of Aleksandr Vlasov and Enric Mas in the final kilometer just as the climb began to ease and accelerated toward the finish line to claim his first stage win at a Grand Tour.
Carthy crossed the line 16 seconds ahead of the Russian and the Spaniard, who came second and third, while Carapaz also finished 16 seconds down in fourth, but missed out on bonus seconds by failing to get on the podium.
“It’s a dream come true to win any professional race, but to win in a Grand Tour on a mythical climb, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Carthy said.
Ecuador’s Carapaz pulled off a series of attacks on Roglic over the final 2km and the Slovenian dug deep at first, before running out of energy as the gap widened, but he managed to limit the damage once the brutal climb lessened toward the summit.
“I’m very happy to wear the red jersey again. It’s a good thing for me, for the team, and for everything we’ve been doing,” Carapaz said. “I remembered it [the climb] from 2017, but it was incredible. I tried in the end, Mas and Carthy also went for it, and I continued with my pace and that gave me a 10-second advantage.”
Yesterday was the second rest day, with the action resuming today with an individual time trial.
Roglic will be extra keen to get a good result today after losing this year’s Tour de France in a time trial on the penultimate day.
The Slovenian, who has won three stages, including beating the sprinters to win stage 10, tried to look on the bright side after surrendering the lead.
“It was too hard a climb for a sprinter,” he said in jest. “I didn’t have the best day, but at the end it’s OK, I’m happy with it. Now we go on with the time trial on Tuesday. It definitely will be a really hard one. I will do my best and we will see after Tuesday.”
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