Photo gallery: Guts and glory in the Vuelta’s final act

by Matt de Neef

In a few years’ time, when we look back at the 2019 Vuelta a España, a few key storylines will stand out in memory. Primoz Roglic becoming the first Slovenian to win a Grand Tour will be one of them. So too Sergio Higuita’s first WorldTour win, in his first Grand Tour, just four months after joining the big leagues. But for many, the story of the 2019 Vuelta was Tadej Pogacar.

We already knew the young Slovenian was freakishly talented — winning the Tour of California as a 20-year-old just doesn’t happen that often. Likewise the Volta ao Algarve. But Pogacar took it to another level at the Vuelta, winning three stages and finishing third overall. Not bad in your first season at WorldTour level, in your first Grand Tour, before you’ve even turned 21.

The final of his three stage wins was particularly memorable. After dropping from third to fifth a few days earlier, Pogacar attacked solo with roughly 40km to go on stage 20, trying to get back onto the podium. He won the stage by more than 90 seconds and moved back up to third overall. It was a remarkable performance from a rider with seemingly limitless potential.

You’ll see a couple moments from that stage immortalised in the photo gallery below. It’s a gallery of the key moments of the final ‘week’ of the 2019 Vuelta, as told through the faces of those in and around the race. We hope you enjoy.

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