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Hugh Carthy of EF Pro Cycling continued to impress by winning stage 12 of the Vuelta a España, a stage that featured five categorized climbs, the final being the famed Alto de l’Angliru. Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana Pro Team) finished in second, sixteen seconds behind Carthy, with Enric Mas (Movistar Team) taking third and Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) fourth.
Primoz Roglic, who was in the red jersey but started the day on the same time as Carapaz, finished 26 seconds down on Carthy, losing 10 seconds to Carapaz, who will wear the red skinsuit in the time trial on stage 13. Carthy moved from fourth overall to third overall after his efforts.
How it happened
With only 109 kilometers to race, the first 25km were non-stop action, with Julius van den Berg (EF) and Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ) eventually getting away. Behind the two, configurations of riders continued to try to get clear, and eventually, a group of 18 merged with the two escapees.
Still, behind the break of 20, the action in the peloton would not stop as UAE, with two already in the break, sent two more riders away, followed by one rider from Lotto Soudal. Two of the three made the catch, one of them being Davide Formolo of UAE-Team Emirates, after chasing for some 20km.
On a technical and slick descent with roughly 42km to go Formolo and three companions distanced the rest of the breakaway, but Formolo slipped on the descent and took himself out of the running for the stage. A few minutes later Andrey Amador (Ineos Grenadiers) also went down on the same descent.
The leader of the mountains classification, Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), scooped up maximum points on the Alto de Padrun, the Alto de San Emiliano, the Alto de la Mozqueta, and the Alto del Cordal continuing to cushion his lead as King of the Mountains.
For the majority of the stage, Jumbo-Visma set the pace in the peloton, but once they reached the Alto de la Mozqueta. Movistar took over the chase for their leader, and the best young rider, Enric Mas.
Before the steepest sections of the final climb of the day, the Alto de l’Angliru, the remains of the breakaway were caught and passed by the remains of the peloton. The hellishly steep climb reduced the lead bunch rider by rider, leaving many of the general classification favorites isolated. Wout Poels struggled, while Enric Mas excelled.
Mas attacked from the select group of leaders with 3.5km to go and behind Primoz Roglic’s last lieutenant Sepp Kuss chased down the current wearer of the young rider’s jersey. Tacked on the back of the Jumbo-Visma riders were Vlasov, Carthy, and Carapaz. Dan Martin (Israel Start-Up Nation) dangled off the back. As Roglic began to show signs of weakness, Carapaz and Carthy left him and Kuss behind to chase down Mas. Soon after Vlasov also dropped the red jersey to chase the leaders.
Gaps on the climb looked minuscule, but it was as deceptive as a front-facing shot of a sprint. The favorites climbed in slow motion on the steep slopes and at 2.2 km to go the group of favorites briefly came back together.
Just before the 2km banner, Carapaz went, followed by Carthy, Dan Martin gritting his teeth to try and match the pace. Kuss remained with Roglic, slowly losing ground on his rivals. Soon after Carapaz and Carthy caught Mas, and with Vlasov closing in on the three, Carthy attacked.
Weaving all over his bike Carthy buried himself to gain time on the general classification and as a massive bonus, he would also win at the top of l’Angliru.
Vlasov took the sprint for second against Mas and Carapz in third and fourth respectively, 26 seconds ahead of Roglic.
1. Hugh Carthy, EF Pro Cycling, 3:08:40
2. Aleksandr Vlasov, Astana Pro Team, +0:16
3. Enric Mas, Movistar Team, st
4. Richard Carapaz, INEOS Grenadiers, st
5. Primoz Roglic, Team Jumbo-Visma, +0:26
6. Sepp Kuss, Team Jumbo-Visma, st
7. Dan Martin, Israel Start-Up Nation, st
8. Wout Poels, Bahrain-McLaren, +1:35
9. Michael Woods, EF Pro Cycling, st
10. Felix Grosschartner, Bora-hansgrohe, +2:15
1. Richard Carapaz, INEOS Grenadiers
2. Primoz Roglic, Team Jumbo-Visma, +0:10
3. Hugh Carthy, EF Pro Cycling, +0:32
4. Dan Martin, Israel Start-Up Nation, +0:35
5. Enric Mas, Movistar Team, +1:50
6. Wout Poels, Bahrain-McLaren, +5:13
7. Felix Grosschartner, Bora-hansgrohe, +5:30
8. Alejandro Valverde, Movistar Team, +6:22
9. Aleksandr Vlasov, Astana Pro Team, +6:41
10. Mikel Nieve, Mitchelton-Scott, +6:42