Remco Evenepoel suffered a crisis during the thirteenth stage of the Vuelta de España. The Belgian champion, who arrived on Iberian soil to defend the title won last year, he broke away on the Col d’Aubisquethe first challenging climb of the day. When there were four kilometers to go to the summit of the demanding hors categories in the Pyrenees (16.6 km climb at 7% average gradient), the time trial World Champion raised the white flag and broke away from the leading group led by the wild Jumbo Visma of Sepp Kuss (red jersey), Jonas Vingegaard (winner of the last two Tours de France) and Primoz Roglic (triumph in the Giro d’Italia).
Remco Evenepoel was immediately surrounded by his Soudal-QuickStep teammates and his pedaling was visibly fatigued. Brilliance abandoned one of the big favorites for the final triumph when there were still about ninety kilometers to go to the finish line. The 23-year-old moved to the GPM with a delay of 1’15” from the red jersey group, although in the subsequent downhill stretch he tried to recover before the Col de Spandelles (10.4 km at 8.1% average gradient ). The Col d’Aubisque was the third to last climb of the day, the arrival is expected at the top of the legendary Col du Tourmalet (18.8 km at 7.4%). Remco Evenepoel broke away so far from the finish line and today he could pay for a sidereal gap.
Let’s remember that the Belgian was third in the general classification this morning 1’09” behind Kuss and with an advantage over his direct rivals for the final victory of the Vuelta: 23″ over Roglic and 1’13” over Vingegaard. At this point Kuss, Roglic and Vingegaard are the big favourites, while the Spaniard Marc Soler (second at 26”), the French Lenny Martinez (fifth at 2’02”), the Portuguese Joao Almeida (sixth at 2’16”) and the Spaniard Juan Ayuso (eighth at 2’25”) are the other contenders for the podium.