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Roglic is a wall for Mas

Primoz Roglic, the patron of La VueltaIt doesn’t matter if he wears red or not, he achieved a beautiful victory this Wednesday in direct duel with Enric Mas, the two strongest men in the race, in an always beautiful finish that begins to take on classic overtones: Valdepeñas de Jaén, the Chaparral slope, a Huy Andalusian wall, surrounded by whitewashed houses and olive trees.

Valdepeñas de Jaén is, surely, the end of the stage that best describes the personality of La Vuelta, if perhaps next to the Ézaro viewpoint. A short slope, barely one kilometer long, and explosive, with that 23% slope on Farjas Street, which promotes the show in a beautiful setting, in a white town, typical of Andalusia, surrounded by the olive trees of the Sierra Sur, with the Pandera as a witness in the background, another scene of cycling battles. The ascent to Chaparral, as it is called, is not a great pass, but a wall ‘made in Vuelta’, which does not compromise the general classification, but hits the TV without breath. Pure adrenaline.

The wall had only Spanish antecedents: Igor Antón, in 2010; Purito Rodríguez, in 2011; and Dani Moreno, in 2013, three explosive runners who managed to tame the climb. Enric Mas fought to prolong the red-and-yellow streak, but ran into one of the greats of the moment, Roglic, who, much to the regret of the Balearic Islands, is perfectly suited to this type of climbs. But, as he later confessed, he had studied in detail Purito’s victory, the starting point, the distance to the finish line … What Enric might not know is that the final part was not the same, that this wall originally maintains the first two-thirds between houses, but has changed the final location goal several times. It was long for the Mallorcan, because it was actually a bit longer.

Roglic, who the day before gave in the jersey to Odd Chistian Eiking, did not want to give anything away this time. The Jumbo kept the escapees of the day at bay, and that the mountainous route did not facilitate the hunt. From there he left in the last kilometers Magnus Cort Nielsen, a good finisher, that the Valdepeñera ascent began in the lead. At times, the images of his victory in the Mountain of Cullera flew over La Vuelta, when he was able to finish the flight with the Slovenian’s breath on his neck, but this time there was no concession. Neither Roglic, nor Mas were willing to give up the glory and they dominated the climb in two pushes, in such a tight scoring that they even touched in a narrowing. Occupational hazards.

These types of slopes do not decide La Vuelta, but they animate the race and, above all, they do not make the race fall into the slumber of massive arrivals. The general changed little, but something did change. Roglic cut 21 seconds and is already 1:56 off Eiking, who really enjoyed with his status as a red jersey, which he defended with honor in tenth place. The Slovenian also increased his advantage over Enric Mas, who is emerging as the great rival, by 7 seconds, without losing sight of Superman López and Jack Haig, the next contenders, who supported them in the goal in that same order. An exact description of the powers of this Vuelta.

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