Miguel Angel Lopez managed to break away from other riders during the last four kilometers of the final climb to win Stage 18 at the 2021 La Vuelta a Espana.
Miguel Angel Lopez got a stage win for Team Movistar as he broke away from the riders on the final climb of Stage 18 at the 2021 La Vuelta a Espana.
Team Movistar’s Carlos Verona and Team Ineos Grenadiers’ Dylan van Baarle did not start the stage due to injuries sustained during Stage 17.
James Piccoli was the first to break away and was soon joined by others as the breakaway group swelled to 32 riders.
Once caught, after the first climb, it was Michael Storer who attacked and Romain Bardet who tried to keep pace with him before both were eventually caught at the base of the next climb.
Miguel Angel Lopez attacks on the final climb
Lopez went on the attack on a gradient of nearly 10 percent in the midst of dense fog and cloud and the other riders could not keep up with him.
Team Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert’s Jan Hirt did part of the work for him, setting such a pace that have the group of GC riders got dropped very quickly on the climb.
Lopez gained 14 seconds on race leader and defending champion Primoz Roglic who managed yet again to leave Egan Bernal behind and come in second over the finish line and maintain his overall race lead.
Bernal however managed to move himself up into fourth place on the stage as Jack Haig who with his team working all day, got dragged up the climb to place fifth on the stage.
2021 La Vuelta a Espana overall race standings after Stage 18
Bernal and Haig remain fifth and fourth overall as Lopez keeps third place overall and Enric Mas keeps second place.
Guilliame Martin dropped down to ninth place overall as Sepp Kuss and Adam Yates took seventh and sixth place respectively.
Louis Meintjes managed to move into the top 10 into eighth place.