'We have saved a very, very difficult day': Movistar duo content to limit losses to unstoppable Roglič on Vuelta a España stage 17

Enric Mas and Miguel Ángel López move up to second and third in the general classification

Enric Mas and Miguel Ángel López on stage 17 of the Vuelta a España
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Enric Mas says that he and his rivals have "saved a very, very difficult day" after Primož Roglič re-took control of the Vuelta a España with a dominant display.

Mas put in another strong performance along with Movistar team-mate Miguel Ángel López as they limited their losses to Roglič to just 1-35 on the 'queen stage' of the Vuelta, which finished atop the brutal climb of Lagos de Covadonga.

López placed best as he took third on the stage behind Roglič and Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), ceding 1-35 to the new race leader yet moving to third (at 3-11) in GC with Mas moving into second (at 2-22).

The duo found themselves more than a 1-30 behind Roglič as they began the final climb, after the defending champion had followed an attack by Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) with more than 61km to go.

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

Following the stage Mas said he did not expect Roglič to follow the move of Bernal so far from the finish.

"We have saved a very, very difficult day. A very demanding day - I personally did not expect that attack from Roglič," Mas said.

"He has proven to be very, very strong and we can only congratulate him, as we should. 

"Apart from the fact that Primož has put a lot of time into us, although we cannot be excited with the result, both Miguel and I can be more or less happy. We are still there, the rest of the important men have arrived almost all together, we are again second and third in the general classification and we have dodged a really tough and important day."

López initially tried to get across to Egan Bernal and Roglič with 60km to go but decided to sit up as he didn't want to waste energy and he was confident Bernal would go too deep with so much distance to the finish line.

"At first I tried to go with Roglič and Bernal, but I did not make it to them," López explained.

"I decided that it was too far and that it was not worth continuing, because, as we have seen, Egan [Bernal] ended up paying for it in the end. If you are not sure, with the confidence to go, knowing that you have more than 40 km ahead of you, you can pay, even more knowing that tomorrow we have another important day."

Stage 18 is indeed another important day with the second brutal mountain stage of the final week with a hellishly steep final climb up the Altu d'El Gamoniteiru.

It is not the only climb of the day on the 162.6km route starting in the town of Rooms with three more ascents on the menu.

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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.