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Matarò - Barcelona
Twenty-two years old and already a classy attacker: this is Andrea Piccolo wearing his first red jersey, the symbol of a race synonymous with intensity par excellence. The heat, the inaccessible and unknown summits in the middle of nowhere, the beauty of sunburned Spain, all this is La Roja, which embodies the primacy of the Vuelta a España. As if in a dream, Andrea took the lead in his first Grand Tour with an incredible breakaway in the rain-soaked stage.
"I saw the soigneur, the doctor and our media manager, but we didn't know for sure if we had got the red jersey. We started the race six seconds down and crossed the line where the GC was neutralised 15 or 20 seconds down. I knew that maybe only two guys in the race could make up the difference with the bonus seconds for the red jersey, but we had to wait for confirmation.
I trusted myself. The team trusted me and we went for the red jersey from the start of the stage.”
Try without limits
Suria - Arinsal
The first mountaintop finish of the Vuelta is a climbers' affair. Marc Soler is a rider without reins, any moment could be the right one to make his mark. He wanted to win, he wanted to do it his way, a spectacular, unrestrained action that would leave everyone speechless. Marc sprints, staying in the lead for a while, dreaming as he knows how.
This was not the day, but it will come.
Pico del Buitre, Observatorio Astrofisico
Exhausting, isolated, terribly fascinating. Like some of the Vuelta finishes that have made the race famous, the Pico del Buitre is the final judge of a stage where the GC contenders fight to the last metre
The best are all there, including Landa, who once again makes his fans dream as they praise their hero on the infernal ramps in front of the silhouette of the Observatory, to say that it is all over, at least for today.. Once again everything fades away, this is the melancholy of the sprint without redemption.
Cross is here
Collado de la Cruz de Caravaca
The rain, mud and wind make the finish line look like a road cutting through a tropical forest. The crazy climb to the white line becomes a cyclo-cross race without the speed, the last two kilometres before the rest day, when everyone is exhausted and worn out from a race that resembles an elimination game. Here, cycling is a crazier sport than ever, a bull to be taken by the horns when dressed in red from head to toe.