Evenepoel wins, takes the lead and breaks his face at the finish line | Cycling | Sports

Glowing more than ever, although his face softens later, Remco Evenepoel, who doesn’t want to be the circus monkey, sitting on the ground, manages to remove his helmet with the help of an assistant, and discovers a face covered in blood that mana from the eyebrow. His dry start, which only Vingegaard tries to neutralize, gives him a few meters ahead in the last hundred of the stage. Clinging to the upper part of the handlebars, the whiplash is enough to be the first at the finish line and wear red again. He hits his chest, his hands loose, and turns downhill when an assistant from another team crosses his path, who suffered a broken arm. They collide and go to the ground, Remco flipping over his bike.

“People were only fifty meters after the line. It is already the third day in a row that something has happened in the Vuelta”, says the leader. “I’m pissed”. But he, blinded by the victory, did not slow down, like Vingegaard and Ayuso, who arrived from behind and stopped in time, before entering the area where the staff of all the teams wait, in a small space, the which allows the top of the ski resort.

The Belgian phenomenon has been angry with the world since the Vuelta began, but that does not prevent him from focusing on work. In the first approach to the mountain, in Andorran territory, he was the best among the best, who ran together in the decisive kilometers at a pace that allowed no one to get off the hook, except for Geraint Thomas, who was towed by Egan Bernal, who is advancing step by step. step by step in his recovery, and that he seemed to have strength but he spent it in helping his boss.

The others were there, first in Ordino, then in Arinsal, with Enric Mas discreet, as if wanting to go unnoticed, but always attentive, following the same strategy as Primoz Roglic, in the second wagon of the Jumbo, a few meters away from the locomotive. de Vingegaard. Only until the decisive moments. Ayuso is seen more, like Marc Soler, who tries it one kilometer from the finish line. Vine has done the work for them, which has set a demanding pace. He has legs, and enough morale to challenge a pack that has no regard for the weak, like Bardet, who attacks before, two kilometers away, receives a visit from Kelderman, stops and drops, to arrive half a minute late.

Kamna and Caruso engulfed, the survivors of a large escape that begins to disperse upon crossing the border, like the excursions that look for bargains in the shopping centers, the main ones pedal and put away their clothes, all distrustful, almost without skirmishes, except when it starts Ayuso and Vingegaard follow him to reintegrate him into the fold. No one else moves. Between the fences of the last kilometer they form a curious group, similar to the bus of the stragglers, which occupies the entire width of the road.

Only in the last 200 meters do they accelerate, and Evenepoel the most. He presses the pedals with that ambition that gives him victories; he comes out behind Vingegaard and also Ayuso. The group forms single file but no one can catch up to the Belgian, who wins with a scowl, beating his chest and then smashing his face in before dressing in red, a color that is becoming familiar to him. “I have nothing serious, just an injury.” He is fed up, he says, but not with winning, nobody gets tired of that. The second in the General is Enric Mas, Vingegaard is fourth, 31 seconds away, Roglic is 37 and Ayuso is 38. There is Vuelta.

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