Vuelta 2022: Evenepoel wins in Piornal to cement GC lead

Remco Evenepoel Vuelta - Vuelta 2022: Evenepoel wins in Piornal to cement GC leadfoto: Cor VosAttacker Robert Gesink is brought back inside the last 400 metres of the 18th stage of La Vuelta. The first two riders on GC, Enric Mas and Remco Evenepoel, catch him before the red jersey wins the sprint and cements his GC lead. (Slideshow route/profile)

Results 18th stage 2022 Vuelta

1. Remco Evenepoel (bel)
2. Enric Mas (spa) + 0.02
3. Robert Gesink (nld) s.t.
3. Jai Hindley (aus) + 0.13
5. Thymen Arensman (nld) .t.
6. Thibaut Pinot (fra) .t.
7. Ben O’Connor (aus) .t.
8. Juan Ayuso (spa) .t.
9. Miguel Ángel López (col) s.t.
10. João Almeida (por) s.t.

17. Carlos Rodriguez (spa) + 1.19

GC after stage 18

1. Remco Evenepoel (bel)
2. Enric Mas (spa) + 2.07
3. Juan Ayuso (spa) + 5.14
4. Miguel Ángel López (col) + 5.56
5. Carlos Rodriguez (spa) + 6.49
6. João Almeida (por) + 7.14
7. Thymen Arensman (nld) + 8.09
8. Ben O’Connor (aus) + 9.34
9. Rigoberto Uran (col) + 9.56
10. Jai Hindley (aus) + 12.03

Race report
Attacks are flying from the gun, while a crash takes down Rodriguez, Pedersen and Vine after 20 minutes of action. The KOM leader can’t continue the race.

Jasha Sütterlin, Matteo Fabbro, Merhawi Kudus, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Jetse Bol, Gotzon Martín and Daniel McLay jump off the front at kilometre 40. Nicolas Prodhomme, Gino Mäder, Mark Padun, Jan Bakelants, Gregor Mühlberger, Fausto Masnada, Dario Cataldo, Mikel Iturria and Clément Russo are the first riders to bridge across before Davide Villella, Hugh Carthy, James Shaw, Alessandro De Marchi, Lawson Craddock, Jose Manuel Díaz and Lukasz Owsian rejoin them also.

When they realise this is the decisive move Robert Gesink, Sam Oomen, Mike Teunissen, Nans Peters, Edoardo Zambanini, Vincenzo Nibali, Matteo Fabbro, Sergio Higuita, Danny van Poppel, Julius van den Berg, Thibaut Pinot, Rudy Molard, Richard Carapaz, Omer Goldstein, Nelson Oliveira, Carlos Verona, Ivo Oliveira, Marc Soler, Xandro Meurisse, Daniel Navarro, Raúl Garcia Pierna, Mikel Iturria and Élie Gesbert also manage to get into the break.

The attackers put 9 minutes into the peloton.

Almeida escapes from the peloton with 85 kilometres remaining. He reaches the summit more than 1 minute ahead of the GC group. His team mate Oliveira waits for him and together they plunge down.

Carthy attacks from the lead group in the first climb to Piornal. Pinot and Higuita track him down, while Gesink, Carapaz and Gesbert regain contact just before the summit. Meanwhile, Soler takes Oliveira’s place to pull ahead of Almeida. They reach the summit almost 3 minutes behind the six leaders with the GC group 35 seconds further in arrears.

Soler and Almeida rejoin the remnants of the lead group on the run-in the finish climb. They stay just ahead of the group Evenepoel and widen their lead in the ascent. Meanwhile, Gesbert attacks from the front group.

Mas strikes with 10 kilometres to climb. Evenepoel neutralises the attack and then O’Connor goes. Arensman and Hindley rejoin the Australian. Moments later they watch a red bullet comes storming past: Evenepoel. Mas also regains contact and they catch the group Almeida.

Gesink rejoins Gesbert. The Dutchman goes solo with 6.4 kilometres to go. The GC riders regroup behind him and attacks keep flying. Mas is very active, but Evenepoel shuts down all his moves.

Gesink enters the final kilometre with a lead of 22 seconds, which is not enough, as Mas strikes again. Evenepoel sticks to his wheel and the two catch the athe Dutchman 400 metres before the line. Gesink keeps pulling and Evenepoel uses him as a lead-out when he opens his sprint inside the last 200 metres. La Roja wins the stage with a lead of 2 seconds.

Another interesting read: route 18th stage 2022 Vuelta.

Vuelta 2022 stage 18: routes, profiles, more

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Remco Evenepoel

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