Primoz Roglic claims stage 11 of Vuelta to close gap on Odd Christian Eiking
Primoz Roglic claimed victory on stage 11 of the Vuelta a España. The Jumbo-Visma rider and defending champion, who surrendered the leader’s red jersey on Tuesday after crashing, produced an emphatic attack on the final steep ramps of the 133.6km stage from Antequera to Valdepeñas de Jaén.
Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), who finished 11 seconds behind Roglic, remains in red, 58sec ahead of Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and 1min 56sec up on the Slovenian stage winner.
“It was a hard stage, short but super hot again,” Roglic said. “I was suffering a lot but luckily I had enough to win at the end. It’s always nice to win, you never know when’ll be your last victory. It was a nice finish with steep uphill, which normally I can do well, so it was a nice challenge and the team did an amazing job, pushing really hard throughout the day.”
Roglic and Enric Mas of Movistar caught EF Education Nippo’s Magnus Cort Nielsen – who had been in the break for most of the day and held a 16sec lead going into the final kilometre – with 200m of the race to go as the slopes touched 24% in the closing stages.
Mas had appeared to be the stronger of the two, launching a number of attacks in the final kilometre until passing Cort Nielsen, but with 50m remaining Roglic surged ahead to claim a statement victory. The Dane eventually weaved across the line, 49sec down on the stage winner after being caught by the chasing group.
Stage 12 on Thursday the race will go from Jaén to Córdoba, with a downhill finish meaning it could be primed for a breakaway victory.