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Time is the key
Valladolid - Valladolid ITT
After the rest day, the time trial was crucial, a moment when much can be gained but can also be lost. Marc Soler was able to hold on to second place overall without being beaten by the weather or his rivals.
Twenty-six fixed seconds that guarantee him a secure place among the greats, while waiting for a finale of the week among the giants, with an apocalyptic mountain backdrop that will set another milestone in this Vuelta.
El landismo vive
La Laguna Negra
The tall pines frame the dark asphalt ribbon of the final climb. The surreal and romantic atmosphere of the woods is the perfect backdrop to see the riders pushing the pedals without breathing, in pain, in silence, to reach the summit.
Once again, Landa's eyes were fixed on the goal of staying in the general classification. The Basque is now in fifth place and the dream continues hopelessly but steadily, day after day. Whatever the altitude, whatever the weather, Landismo is alive.
The hardest road
Lights and shadows paint the scenery of the toughest stage. Tour-malet literally means 'difficult road', and this is where the Pyrenees show their melancholic and legendary side, a place that cycling has taken under its wing to tell the stories of great champions as well as of tremendous defeats. The mountain calls to the heroes but also to the brave, who, corner after corner, experience the pure essence of altitude where man is alone with his bike.
In the final stage before the rest day, everyone is trying to race clear. As Santiago Buitrago enters the day's action, he begins to dream of a solo finish. Miles and miles of thinking about how to drop his rivals, how to have his day of glory at the Vuelta.
But the cards were stacked against him today and it wasn't easy to keep a clear head after a day struggling in the wind. As the peloton crosses the line, it is already time to think about next week. There are no loose ends.