Vuelta a España: Egan Bernal says he took 'revenge' against himself with long range attack

The Colombian says he finally felt he had the strength to attack after suffering through opening weeks

Egan Bernal and Primož Roglič on the attack on stage 17 of the Vuelta a España
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Egan Bernal says he wanted to take "revenge" on himself with a long-range attack on the 17th stage of the Vuelta a España 2021 after a poor first two weeks.

Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) went on the attack on the first major mountain stage of the final week of racing in Spain as he has found some solid form again on the queen stage of the race.

Speaking after the finish, Bernal said the stage in Asturias was the first he'd felt the strength to move against his rivals following an opening two weeks of hard-graft to stay in the overall contention.

>>> Primož Roglič stamps his authority on the Vuelta a España 2021 with stage 17 summit finish win

"My idea today was to enjoy myself," Bernal said, "and I was enjoying every kilometre, even if it was hard. I don’t like to just stay on the wheels, you often have to, but this is real cycling. 

"I’ve been suffering a lot during this Vuelta and finally I had good legs. This is a revenge against myself."

Bernal pushed on with Roglič with about 61km to go on the penultimate climb with the Slovenian working with Bernal on the valley bottom before the final climb.

The pace was high between the two to hold on ahead of the chasing group with Roglič kicking on and dropping Bernal on the climb before he went on to win by 1-35. Bernal faded and was eventually caught by the chasers in the final kilometre. He now sits in sixth place overall, 4-29 down on race leader Roglič.

"I’m happy to be part of this victory for Roglič because he was brave," Bernal added. "He was leading the race and he went with me, and he was taking turns on the flat. He was the strongest today and I’m happy for him. 

"Tomorrow, we’ll see, because I went deep today. We’ll see how we recover and how Yates is, because I also think he’s strong. And if we have legs, why not go again"

Stage 18 is another major mountain stage with the final climb being a monstrous ascent of the Altu d'El Gamoniteiru with multiple climbs on the menu for the riders as the brutal final week gets going.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.