Vuelta a España - Alejandro Valverde: Astana saved the Red Jersey for Roglic
Sep 11 2019 10:50 pm CET

Vuelta a España - Alejandro Valverde: Astana saved the Red Jersey for Roglic
Vuelta a España - Alejandro Valverde: Astana saved the Red Jersey for Roglic
Photo of Alejandro Valverde by Jonathan Roorda /

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has lost one position in the General Classification at the end of the 17th stage after a day full of action that saw Nairo Quintana climb to the second place of the overall standings.

There was a cut in the peloton due to echelons in the first kilometres of the stage and Quintana positioned himself in the front one along with three of his teammates. Behind, teams like Jumbo-Visma, Astana and UAE Team Emirates pulled the favourites' group to avoid any substantial time losses and that group crossed the finish line five minutes and 19 seconds behind the Colombian of Movistar, which confirmed the new second overall place for the rider, while his teammate Alejandro Valverde dropped to the third place.

"We have to be happy," said the Spaniard. "It was a day prone to echelons and thanks to them we have Nairo back in the fight for the race title. Tactically, we have two strong cards. The cut was made at the start and with Nairo in front we rode calmly. I couldn't make it because the cut was made almost by accident: the echelon was formed by people that were going on the left side and was from one moment to the next, it didn't give me time to react.

"Jumbo then tried to close the difference but it couldn't and that gave us a bigger advantage. In one of the climbs, we accelerated to leave without men the team that was pulling, but Astana was very good and it also had people in front. Astana saved the Red Jersey for Roglic, but here everybody has to fight for its own. A lot of people suffered from tiredness today and that could be noticeable tomorrow, particularly on those who have been pulling for the entire day, I didn't pull at all, I rode behind the entire time."



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