Following the withdrawal of Primoz Roglic, Mas became Evenepoel’s main opponent in the fight for victory. “The first attack on the final climb was really tough, because we immediately got together,” Evenepoel said. “I think Enric wanted to test my legs and I had some stamina. Then Joao Almeida joined us and he accelerated too. As he is a little further down the rankings, I could leave him some space.”
“All in all, it wasn’t such an easy finish, but the team got me perfectly until the last climb where it was up to me. Sometimes it was quite steep, not as much as the hardest parts in other stages, but we felt the difficulty. It was even quite trying.”
For Evenepoel, the abandonment of Roglic did not make the Vuelta any easier. “I find that the race is still just as difficult. The difference is that we were sure that on such a climb, Roglic would accelerate in the last 500 meters and that he could possibly regain fifteen seconds. Without him, the The danger of this type of attack is less, because Enric is less explosive than Primoz. This is the biggest difference between these two competitors, but it certainly does not make things easier for me,” Evenepoel assured.