Vuelta 2019: Pogacar wins heroic stage in Andorra, Quintana new leader

La Vuelta serves five climbs on stage 9, while the route is merely 94.4 kilometres long. Hails and storms mark the finale and 20-years old Tadej Pogacar climbs to victory. Nairo Quintana is the new race leader. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 9th stage Vuelta a España 2019

1. Tadej Pogacar (slo)
2. Nairo Quintana (col) + 0.23
3. Primoz Roglic (slo) + 0.48
4. Alejandro Valverde (spa) s.t.
5. Marc Soler (spa) + 0.57
6. Hermann Pernsteiner (aut) + 0.59
7. Sergio Higuita (col) + 1.01
8. Wilco Kelderman (nld) s.t.
9. Miguel Ángel López (col) s.t.
10. Tao Geoghegan Hart (gbr) + 1.38

11. Carl Fredrik Hagen (nor) + 1.46
12. Mikel Nieve (spa) + 2.02
13. Rafal Majka (pol) + 2.08
24. Esteban Chaves (col) + 4.43
28. Nicolas Edet (fra) + 6.06

GC after stage 9
1. Nairo Quintana (col)
2. Primoz Roglic (slo) + 0.06
3. Miguel Ángel López (col) + 0.17
4. Alejandro Valverde (spa) + 0.20
5. Tadej Pogacar (slo) + 1.42
6. Carl Fredrik Hagen (nor) + 1.46
7. Nicolas Edet (fra) + 2.21
8. Rafal Majka (pol) + 3.22
9. Wilco Kelderman (nld) + 3.53
10. Dylan Teuns (bel) + 4.46

11. Mikel Nieve (spa) + 5.19
13. Sergio Higuita (col) + 6.41
14. Esteban Chaves (col) + 6.51
15. George Bennett (nzl) + 7.07
23. Robert Gesink (nld) + 14.19
25. Pierre Latour (fra) + 17.08

Race report
Tao Geoghegan Hart tackles the Coll d’Ordino with a small lead. A huge group with Poels, Gesink, De Gendt, Fuglsang, Soler, Herrada (Jesús) and Nieve bridges across on the climb. Kelderman and Higuita regain contact also.

Bizkarra and Bevin head out together, but the chasers get back to them after 30 kilometres before they tackle the Coll de la Gallina 4 minutes ahead of the peloton.

Hart and Bouchard go on the attack, while Aru is struggling in the peloton. Chaves is forced to chase after a mechanical and red jersey Edet can’t follow the pace in the last few kilometres.

Meanwhile, Bouchard has left Hart behind and the Frenchman is the first rider over the summit. The remnants of the lead group are chasing at 20 seconds.

Bouchard extends his lead to 1.30 minutes in the valley, while he tackles the Alto de la Comella 4 minutes ahead of the GC group.

López accelerates on the early slopes. His first attack is neutralised, but he is gone when he strikes again. Izagirre waits for him and they reach the crest 14 seconds before the Roglic/Valverde/Quintana group.

When Izagirre is out of fuel, Fuglsang is next to wait for López. Quintana and Valverde are taking turns in putting pressure on Roglic. Luckily for the Slovene, his teammate Kuss waits for him.

Meanwhile, Hart, O’Connor and Soler rejoin Bouchard and they reach the penultimate summit 1 minute ahead of López with the group Roglic 30 seconds further behind. Moments later the weather changes and La Vuelta continues in grim apocalyptic conditions. Heavy rains and strong winds are accompanied by hail storms.

Soler goes alone on the unpaved mud road, while López goes down on that section. Valverde and Quintana bridge across to him without Roglic, because the Slovene aso falls in the gravel sector. Quintana pushes on with Pogacar. Just before Roglic regains contact, Valverde attacks.

Instructions from the team car force Soler to wait for Quintana. But just before the Colombian makes contact, Pogacar breaks clear. On the lower slopes Roglic drops López to rejoin Valverde.

Only 20 years old, Pocacar climbs to his first Grand Tour victory, while Quintana moves into the race lead. Roglic is just 6 seconds behind and both López and Valverde are also within 20 seconds of the red jersey.

Another interesting read: route 9th stage Vuelta 2019.

Vuelta a España 2019 stage 9: route, profile, more

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Tadej Pogacar

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