Pogacar claims first Tour win as Quintana moves into six-second lead

By Sports Desk September 01, 2019

Tadej Pogacar claimed his first Grand Tour win on Sunday in a thrilling stage nine of the Vuelta a Espana.

Nairo Quintana moved into a six-second overall lead after finishing in second place to the Slovenian at the end of a punishing climb to Cortals d'Encamp.

Primoz Roglic rallied from a crash in the gravel section to finish third, just ahead of Quintana's Movistar team-mate Alejandro Valverde, after Miguel Angel Lopez could not sustain his attack in the closing stages following an earlier fall in torrential rain.

The Astana rider surged into a 40-second lead with roughly half an hour to go, as a thunderstorm broke over the end of the 94.4km route from Andorra la Vella.

Marc Soler hit the front after Lopez was chased down but was instructed to wait for team-mate Quintana with roughly 3.5km to go, giving Pogacar the chance to power through the wet and take a maiden triumph.

"This stage was incredible. I was looking at it since I started. Yesterday, when I saw the weather I was happy that it was going to rain," he said.

"I tried to follow the attacks and I went full gas on the gravel section. It was great.

"Today was tricky, a lot of technical problems on the gravel section and a hailstorm. But today was an incredible ride."

Soler ended fifth, 57 seconds off the pace of Pogacar, while Lopez settled for 10th after crossing the line bleeding from his elbow.

Overnight GC leader Nicolas Edet was dropped from the peloton at 4:20 and slips to seventh in the standings ahead of Monday's rest day.

STAGE RESULT

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 2:58:09
2. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) +00:23
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +00:48
4. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +00:48
5. Marc Soler (Movistar) +00:57

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 35:18:18
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +00:06
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) +00:17

Points Classification

1. Nairo Quintana (Movistar) 70
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 64
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 58

King of the Mountains

1. Angel Madrazo (Burgos BH) 29
2. Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) 21
3. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) 18

WHAT'S NEXT?

Monday sees a welcome rest day before Tuesday's stage 10 ride from Jurancon to Pau, a winding time trial over 36.1km.

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