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Roglic unstitches Evenepoel before the finish line to retake the throne of the Volta


The Slovenian, who knew how to better calibrate his forces on the terrible climb to Lo Port, accumulates a 10-second advantage over the Belgian

Roglic, in the final sprint that deflated Evenepoel. JOSEP LAGO (AFP)

It was with 50 meters to go, after an epic battle, several starts that would leave anyone ojiplático and destroyed.

Not to them two.

But there, almost where the goal sign made a shadow, Remco Evenepoel deflated.

Oxygen did not reach her head or blood to her legs, a championship bird, arms drooping and pedaling reluctantly, impotence of the defeated.

It was the clear image of defeat, the surrender of the Belgian to a Primoz Roglic who better measured the efforts, who better calibrated the energy and who ended up sitting down his rival when he was supposed to arrive at the Volta weaker.

But the Slovenian, who already told himself that he was a wise man because of his accumulated experiences and because of how he had won the last Tirreno-Adriatico, deciphered Lo Port to be crowned in the stage, to once again become the solo leader,

already 10 seconds apart.

It is not definitive, but it is a great step to take the final laurel, since only the slopes of Montjuïc remain in the last stage as definitive judges.

And Roglic, as he clarified once again, has rechargeable batteries.


Full blown

Duracell .

The party, in any case, began early in the morning in Tortosa, a good party for being a starting point, crowds of people and even children, who made the morning as a school excursion.

Shouts of encouragement, photos, also autographs and globalized merriment to see the protagonists.

None like Roglic and Evenepoel, so close in the classification before the stage -they had the clock stopped at the same time, first and second overall with the only difference that the Slovenian had achieved better positions when crossing the finish line- as synchronized;

The plate behind the saddle broke at the same time, because this Friday morning the Volta organization was in charge of re-manufacturing them so that they could show them off before the stage.

After Lo Port, however, Roglic worked out his candidacy for the throne.

The escape of the day was uncorked by the Ethiopian Grmay (Jayco), followed by the


British Hyter (Ineos) -his own did not last long- and Frenchman Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), who wanted to accumulate points to keep his red mountain jersey, first by crossing the first two ports and then putting on the brakes.

Record completed.

They came to enjoy almost five minutes of advantage, reduced by Jumbo and especially by Quick-Step, always ready to pull the peloton and opposed to surprises, although increased in number because the Spanish Amezqueta (Caja Rural), Azurmendi (Euskaltel) and Castrillo, Parra and Carretero (Kern Pharma) joined the party.

“It is being very hard, but it is a stage in which you can get away with people who are not a danger in the general classification”, Juanjo Oroz, director of Kern Pharma, pointed out with enthusiasm before the stage.

Wish fulfilled.

"Let's see if Yates gets into the breakaway and we can fight for the stage or we look for the general with Almeida and Soler", they slipped from the UAE.

“It is the stage for Landa because it is a port where you can attack from the first moment”, they pointed out from Bahrain.

But nanay.

Lo Port, a

A full-fledged

leg-breaker , a 9.4-kilometre wall with an average drop of 8%, but with maximum ramps of 20%, was a reserved preserve.

The will was from Quick-Step, confident of repeating the strategy that went so well for him in La Molina, a shuttle team for the leader but erosion for Roglic due to his fierceness and pace.

At the foot of the mountain, the breakaway was a minute ahead, at which point Grmay tried to open the gap.

The Ethiopian's Homeric struggle was triggered.

Like the escape, because the pace tickled the legs of the peloton, which with 6.5 kilometers to go explained that the game was starting again.

Van Wilder and Hirst, again golden gregarious, imposed a frantic pace, within the reach of the chosen ones, a natural selection of the strongest legs, an incessant drip of off the hook.

Ineos was also trying, committed to the promise of catapulting Landa.

But it was Evenepoel, the clear protagonist of the Volta, who decided to demarcate,

torn off by fire that ripped everyone apart except Landa (although he soon got off the hook), Roglic and Marc Soler.

Neither did Almeida, who managed to chase down the group while Evenepoel started and braked, calibrating the forces of the Slovenian, who, once again, refused to take over because he trusted his top speed for the

final sprint


And in that curve and counter-curve, in that ascent that burst the lungs, Evenepoel tried it up to three times.

The last one with half a kilometer to go.

He could not detach himself from Roglic, timekeeper and mathematician, who got up from the bike in the last 100 meters and had 50 to spare, which meant Evenepoel's mallet.

Add up and follow the battle of the best in the Volta, now summoned on the slopes of Montjuïc this Sunday.



1. P. Roglic (Slovenia/Jumbo) 4h 27m 41s

2. R. Evenepoel (Belgium/Quick-Step) at 6s

3. J. Almeida (Portugal/UAE) at 12s

4. Marc Soler (UAE) at 28s

5. R. Uran (Colombia/EF) at 44s

6. L. Martínez (France/FDJ) at 47s

7. Mikel Landa (Bahrain) at 56s


1. P. Roglic (Slovenia/Jumbo) 21h 29m 25s

2. R. Evenepoel (Belgium/Quick-Step) at 10s

3. J. Almeida (Portugal/UAE) at 1m 02s

4. Mikel Landa (Bahrain) at 1m 50s

5. Marc Soler (UAE) at 1m 50s

6. M. Woods (Canada/Israel) at 1m 54s

7. G. Ciccone (Italy/Trek-Segafredo) at 1m 57s


Martorell - Molins de Rei (183 km)

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Source: elparis

All sports articles on 2023-03-24

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