Superman Lopez wins Gamoniteiro and Roglick increases his lead

Primoz Roglich approached the clinch his third consecutive Spanish comeback title after increasing his lead in the final trial in the Highlands on Thursday, while Miguel Angel Lopez won the difficult 18th stage

Lopez held back Roglich’s late attack to capture a 162-kilometer (100-mile) route that crossed three mountain passes before finishing at the top of Alto d’El Gamoniteiro outside the category.

This is the first time the Grand Tour of Spain has included a grueling climb with an average incline of almost 10% over a distance of 14.6 km (9 mi). Lopez pulled away from a group of the toughest riders, including Roglik, who were about 5 kilometers (3 miles) away, and overtook David de la Cruz in the fog that obscured the view of the valleys below.

Michael Storer was expecting a third victory in this Vuelta when he started the last climb with a two-minute lead.… But he soon saw his lead crumbling as the top riders pick up their pace on a grueling climb.

First race win this year

Lopez gave Movistar its first race win this year, finishing in 4 hours 41 minutes 21 seconds. In the final meters, Roglik dropped López’s teammate Enric Mas and Egan Bernal of Inéos to finish second, 14 seconds behind López.

Roglich, the leader of Jumbo-Visma, added a few seconds to his overall lead. Mas is his closest pursuer, 2:20 minutes behind with three stages left.

“It’s nice (to be out of the mountains). We all feel the efforts of the last two days and weeks before, ”Roglich said. “I still think that there are still some super difficult stages ahead. Hopefully we will do our best and finish them. “

Another hilly ride on Saturday

On Friday, in Stage 19, the riders will cover more than 191 km (118 miles) from Tapia to Monforte de Lemos. After another walk in the hills on Saturday the race will conclude with an individual time trial in Santiago de Compostela on Sunday.

Roglich won the time trial early on, so Mas and Lopez will probably try to finally break Roglik in the hills if they hope to win.

Superman Lopez wins Gamoniteiro and Roglick increases his lead

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