Richard Carapaz wins the 12th stage of the Vuelta, Remco Evenepoel remains leader

Richard Carapaz saved his Vuelta by winning the twelfth stage at the top of the Penas Blancas climb (18.9 km at 6.5%), Friday. The Ecuadorian triumphed in front of Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates), members of a breakaway of 32 riders who managed to make the difference after 40 kilometers of racing. Frenchman Élie Gesbert (Arkéa Samsic) takes a good sixth place.

Groupama-FDJ bad student of the day

Without a leader in the general classification, the Groupama-FDJ formation is aiming for the stages. Yet out of the thirty cyclists at the front, none was from the French team. Forced to ride behind the group, Marc Madiot’s men quickly gave up the pursuit, understanding that they would not return. On a day when the fighters had a good chance of going all the way, inevitably that is a stain. The evening debriefing is likely to be hectic…

Among the 32 riders to compete for victory, many renowned riders (Carapaz, Kelderman, Lutsenko, Polanc) but also Jay Vine (Alpecin Deceuninck) and Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates), already victorious in this Vuelta and two Frenchmen, Clément Champoussin (AG2R Citröen Team), stage winner in 2021 and Élie Gesbert (Arkéa-Samsic).

After skimming from behind, the latter was the first to start hostilities 4.5 km from the line. ” I bet on marking favorites to get a little ahead “said Gesbert at the microphone of Eurosport on arrival. Unfortunately for him, the Ecuadorian Olympic champion placed a frank acceleration less than two kilometers from the summit. Enough to take over Gesbert and resist Kelderman, who fails at 9”.

Remco Evenepoel serene despite a fall, Kelderman and Polanc in the top 10

Another eventful day for Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) after the abandonment of his lieutenant Julian Alaphilippe on Wednesday. Thursday, it was directly he who tasted the bitumen after a fall, alone, in a bend. Skinned on the upper thigh, knee and hand, we could have feared the worst for the young Belgian (22 years old). But his rise in control behind the (weak) accelerations of his opponents (Mas and Rodriguez, the only ones to have tried this Thursday) seems to indicate that there is more fear than harm. Beware, however, of the physical consequences in the coming days.

In the general classification, no change at the top of the table. Note the appearance in the Top 10 of Wilco Kelderman (6th) and Jan Polanc (UAE Emirates Team) (9th). They are now three of the Emirati team in the top 10 with Ayuso (5th) and Almeida (9th). An interesting tactical map to play in the coming days and why not on Friday with the 13th stage towards Montilla, cut on paper for the adventurers.


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