Grmay makes the break before Smith sprints to 13 on stage 19 of La Vuelta a España

Fri 13 Sep 2019

Ethiopian rider Tsgabu Grmay made it into the day’s breakaway once again for Mitchelton-SCOTT on a busy day at La Vuelta a Espana. New Zealander Dion Smith was the highest finisher for the team, sprinting into 13th place on a slight uphill finish into Toledo.

The eventual stage winner, Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quickstep), attacked away from the breakaway before the group was swallowed up and held on to take a solo victory ahead of the chasing peloton. Despite some splits during the stage, the general classification remains the same with Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) in the race lead and Mitchelton-SCOTT’s highest placed rider, Mikel Nieve, in 11th spot. 

Grmay Makes The Move Again

As soon as the start flag dropped the race was on to get into the breakaway, with the only classified climb of the day coming directly at the start.

Grmay was able to jump into a move of 11riders that headed away and extended their advantage heading up and over the climb, establishing their lead after just 15kilometres of racing.

Drama In The Bunch

With 65kilometres to go a large crash occurred in the main bunch with race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) going down and suddenly finding him self over one-minute behind the main bunch, after Movistar Team set a hard pace in a following crosswind section.

After communication between riders and teams, the peloton then slowed down and riders all returned back together again with Roglic back into contention. Through all these changes in pace behind, the breakaway group managed to maintain their lead, hovering just over one-minute ahead as they too battled with some hard crosswind sections.

Solo Attacker 

With 25kilometres to go, Cavagna attacked away from the breakaway group and with no immediate chase, the French rider opened up a gap and led the race solo. Grmay and the rest of the breakaway group were then swallowed up as the peloton picked up the pace again as they charged towards the finishing town.

Cavagna was just able to hold on for the win with Smith in the mix behind, finishing just outside of the top ten.

Tsgabu Grmay

“There was a lot of wind there, at the start I saw there was a gap and it was a climb and I just jumped in. We opened the gap and we worked well at the begining and we could stay away, so it was good.

“It was really hard actually in the break, I was the weakest guy there for this kind of stage but I was trying my best just to stay there until the end and with the weather and everything, it was the same for all of us, so in the end it was all good.”

Julian Dean - Sport Director

“It was a really nervous stage, a lot of crosswinds and narrow roads and the guys were really on edge all day. It was good Tsgabu was in that first break, the guys were saying it was a tough moment when that break went so he has obviously got good legs. It was always going to be tough for him amongst that group.

"The guys did really well, they were on top of everything and the right guys were there. Mikel and Dion were at the front there and they were really well protected and Mikel was saying he was really happy with how it went and it was good to be up there all day today.”

La Vuelta – Stage 19 Results:
1. Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quickstep) 3:43:34
2. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:05
3. Zdenek Stybar (Deceuninck-Quickstep) +0:05
13. Dion Smith (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:08

La Vuelta – General Classification after Stage 19:
1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 75:00:36
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) +2:47
3. Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) +3:31
11. Mikel Nieve (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +22:16

Photos courtesy of Kramon