‘We’ve come to win the Vuelta’: Richard Carapaz still confident after losing race lead

The Ineos Grenadiers rider lost the race lead, but still wants to fight 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Richard Carapaz believes he can still win the Vuelta a España, after losing the race lead on the stage 13 time trial.

The Ineos Grenadiers rider went into the TT with just a 10-second advantage over Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma), which wasn’t enough of a buffer to hold the red jersey after the solo test. 

Carapaz now sits second overall, 39 seconds behind Roglič, with five stages remaining.

After stage 13 he said: “It was a really hard time trial, but I’m very happy with the result, we have come to win the Vuelta and it is still the goal. 

"I think that La Vuelta is still open, there are a lot of possibilities, there are going to be a lot of very hard days, where everything can change. 

"This morning [before stage 13] we prepared ourselves to fight for the Vuelta today, now we will continue fighting." 

Carapaz kept himself in the fight at the first timing check, 12km into the 33km course, losing just five seconds to Roglič.

But by the second time check at 24km, Roglič had taken the virtual lead and then extended his advantage on the 1.8km-long, 14 per cent average climb to the finish. 

At the finish, Carapaz was fast enough for seventh on the stage, but was 49 seconds slower than Roglič, which saw him drop to second on GC. 

Defending Vuelta champion Roglič took a lot of confidence from his TT performance, after he lost the Tour de France in the penultimate stage TT earlier this year.

>>> Hugh Carthy says ‘he’s got nothing to lose’ at Vuelta a España after strong time trial performance  

The Slovenian said: “Finally I win another time trial.

It was a while ago. I felt strong today. I found that surprising, because I thought I would suffer a lot more. Many people thought that I would take much time very easily, but in the end everyone starts such a time trial with equal opportunities. We all know that it is a full house and that is not always fun. Fortunately I had good legs today and I was able to do a nice time trial. We have to stay focused now and keep fighting to the end.”  

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