RINCN DE LA VICTORIA, Spain
Michael Storer won his second stage of this year’s Spanish Vuelta on Tuesday, with Primoz Roglic falling on the final descent and losing the overall lead to Odd Christian Eiking.
Roglic quickly got back on his bike, but he and the other top contenders couldn’t keep up with the breakaway group at the end of the nearly flat 189-kilometer (117-mile) 10th stage that challenged the riders with a peak towards the end and a rapid descent to the finish line.
Storer, an Australian rider from the DSM team, finished 22 seconds ahead of Mauri Vansevenant of the Deceuninck-Quick Step team. Eiking finished fifth and took 58 seconds ahead of Guillaume Martin in the general classification.
Eiking became the second Norwegian to lead the Vuelta, 15 years after Thor Hushovd.
“I couldn’t expect that this morning. I was nine minutes late and it would almost take a miracle to be in the jersey, ”said Eiking. “I tried to get as many minutes as possible at the end. I can’t describe what this means, it’s really, really big.
Roglic, the two-time defending champion who crossed the line almost 12 minutes later, fell to third place overall, more than two minutes ahead. He keeps 28 seconds ahead of Enric Mas, his closest contender for the title. Roglic had made a strong attack forward but fell back after falling alone in a right turn as the tire on his bike lost grip. He was not seriously injured despite crossing the line with part of his shorts torn.
Storer, who also dominated the climb to win the seventh stage, became only the second Australian to win two stages in an edition of the Vuelta, after Michael Matthews in 2013.
“It’s really even more incredible than the last time. It was a big fight for the breakaway, “said Storer.” I felt good on the last climb. I knew exactly what I had to do to win today. I had to attack … I had to go down this descent quickly. There are dry and slippery roads in this area. I felt that my descent was just enough to hold on. I still don’t realize that I won two difficult stages in this Vuelta after 10 days. It’s actually amazing. “
The riders were coming off their first day of rest in the three-week Grand Tour race. They’ll face a twisty road and steep climb in the 133.6-kilometer (83-mile) 11th stage on Wednesday.