The Vuelta a España offered up more drama on stage 18, as Tony Martin was forced out of the race after a crash that also brought down some of the overall favourites.
With around 65km of the stage to race, riders in the peloton crashed on a narrow downhill stretch of road with race leader Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Miguel Ángel López (Astana) both going down.
A large number of Jumbo-Visma riders were involved in the fall, with Tony Martin coming of worst and abandoning the race.
Drama at #LaVuelta19 as race leader Primoz Roglic hits the deck in a pile-up crash during a wet Stage 19 ?
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) September 13, 2019
Jumo-Visma said on Twitter: “Due to the heavy crash, Tony Martin has unfortunately abandoned the race.”
The departure of Martin is another blow to Roglič, who has now lost his valued road captain and workhorse with one key stage still remaining on day 19.
Roglič has already lost his key mountain domestique and potential GC rider Steven Kruijswijk who left the race in the first week after he was unable to recover from a crash in the stage one team time trial.
The crash on stage 18, from Ávila to Toledo, split the bunch with Movistar making it through unscathed and hitting the front to set a high pace.
Roglič was able to remount and was part of a large chasing group, as López also jumped back on and was paced back up to the Roglič group by his team-mates.
Controversially, Movistar continued driving at the front of the peloton and pulled out a minute advantage as Roglič was left isolated and forced to help try and close the gap between the two halves of the bunch.
Alejandro Valverde and his Spanish team than set up in the front group and allowed the Roglič group to re-join, with riders admonishing with the world champion for allowing his team to take advantage of the crash.
This content was originally published here.
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