Roglic abandons the Vuelta after his tremendous crash

Roglic, shocked at the goal of Tomares after his fall. / EP

sixteenth stage

He sleepwalked into the goal of Tomares, where Mads Pedersen prevailed, and sat in shock against the fences

"Unfortunately, Roglic will not be at the start of stage 17 as a result of yesterday's crash," they announced from the official account of the Slovenian team, Jumbo, on the social network Twitter. "You had ambitious plans for the last few days, but unfortunately it could not be", they commented addressing Primoz Roglic after receiving a
tremendous blow yesterdayTuesday, in the final stretch.

Cruel cycling. He sleepwalked into the Tomares finish line, where Mads Pedersen won, and sat in shock against the fences. Blood flowed from his right arm. He barely moved it. He looked at nothing. He was surrounded by colleagues and rivals like Remco Evenepoel. "Ufff. It's an ugly fall, "they agreed. Ugly and unfair for a broker of such value and worth so much.

A cyclist like Roglic is capable of changing everything. He turned the most harmless stage into chaos. He was enough with a dry blow, of class, on the slope two kilometers from the goal of Tomares. Rough. The Slovenian is second in the general classification after Evenepoel. He is not worth it. Nonconformist. Champion. He has won the last three editions of the Vuelta. He surprised with the lash of it. Only guys with the punch of Pedersen, Van Poppel, Ackerman and Wright could ride in his wake. Enric Mas and the leader, Evenepoel, were cut where they least expected. Roglic never sleeps. The Vuelta went crazy. Everything happened and at full speed.

In that tumult, Evenepoel noticed that his rear tire was soft, punctured. He raised his hand. As the breakdown was in the final three kilometers, they were going to give him the same time as the group in which he was circulating, just a few seconds behind Roglic. Saved by the regulation. "Calm down," one of the judges told him. The Belgian obeyed and walked the distance to the finish line in slow motion. That scene contrasted with what was happening ahead. The fight continued. Frantic. Roglic continued screwing the pedals until, with the final banner in sight, he was overtaken by those dragging his slipstream.

Roglic's tremendous fall in the final stretch after a spectacular attack

The Slovenian, with a pounding heart, wanted to catch on to that wake of Pedersen, Van Poppel and Acckerman to scratch a few more seconds and, at the limit of the effort, he touched Wright and went to the ground violently. He almost KO He covered those 200 meters almost groping. He entered, officially, with just 8 seconds ahead of the peloton and Evenepoel. So little loot was already costing him a trail of blood. One minute and 26 seconds behind Evenepoel in the general classification, he will not continue in the Vuelta.

Escape from Maté and Okamika

The thirst began to run from the start in Sanlúcar de Barrameda, at the mouth of the Guadalquivir River, at the gate of the Doñana park. Light, sand and water, salty and fresh. And yet thirsty. Drought. The largest permanent lagoon in Doñana, Santa Olalla, has just dried up. Juan Sebastián Elcano left Sanlúcar and arrived at this port after making the first circumnavigation of the world. The Earth was also round 500 years ago. But the other Vuelta opted for a day made for flat earthers. From Sanlúcar to Tomares, already in Seville. Flat. No hills, except for the final slope, waiting for Evenepoel to face Roglic and Enric Mas this week in the remaining mountains, Piornal and Sierra de Guadarrama.

It was, therefore, an opportunity for the sprinters and, also, for the adventurers. The spirit of Elcano. From Biscayan Ander Okamika and Andalusian Luis Ángel Maté, who navigates this Vuelta with a mission: to repopulate the Sierra Bermeja, the lung that burned a year ago next to his house in Marbella. "Maté convinced me at the start to go with him to plant trees," said Okamika.

The man from Marbella promised at the start of the Vuelta that for every kilometer in flight he will plant a tree. He and Okamika escaped from Sanlúcar. A sip of chamomile and run. “We have to be aware that we are facing an (environmental) crisis without precedent in our history,” declared the Basque player from Euskaltel-Euskadi. environmental apostle. He was accompanied on the journey by ex-triathlete Okamika, born in another fishing village, Lekeitio. Together they crossed the plains of the rice fields with up to four minutes of advantage. little.

"With five or six in the breakaway, the peloton can be surprised," said Maté at the start. But there were only two. Few. He didn't care. "On these roads I have learned to run," the Andalusian motivated himself, already recovered from the respiratory infection that has kept him for days at the stern of the peloton. Together they completed 175 kilometers with the dry air against them. 175 more trees. It was his gift. The rest, the last 14 kilometres, were taken care of by the Pedersen Trek and Cofidis de Coquard, the fastest. That's how the script was until Roglic improved it with a great brush stroke. Unexpected. Bold. Ambitious. Of a cyclist who goes out to win.

It started to the left as soon as the road entered the short slope that went up to Tomares. He blew up the race. He reconverted the flat stage and moved it to a slope that he invented. Brave. Capable of going around the world. Elcano. He was not so lucky. He took only 8 seconds off his courage and a bloody blow to his right arm that could cost him his career. He played like a great runner plays, like he did last year on the way to the Lakes of Covadonga. All or nothing. Cycling is sometimes ruthless with those who take care of it the most.



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