Dutchman Tom Dumoulin moved a step closer to cycling immortality yesterday as he retained the race leader’s red jersey on the 19th stage of the Vuelta a Espana.
The Giant-Alpecin rider even managed to extend his lead over second place Fabio Aru (Astana), albeit by a meagre three seconds.
Still, it was a big psychological moment for Dumoulin to drop the Italian ahead of today’s penultimate stage. Leading by six seconds, Dumoulin won’t be complacent yet, as today’s 175km journey from San Lorenzo del Escorial to Cercedilla features four categorised climbs.
“Every additional second is good,” said Dumoulin.
Ireland’s Nicolas Roche was in a group just behind Dumoulin’s, around 18 minutes back and he’s now 27th overall at 47:55.
Meanwhile, Grace Garner (RST Racing) took her second stage victory of the An Post Ras na mBan yesterday leading in a 37-rider group at the end of a brutal 80km journey starting and finished in Scariff, Co. Clare. Garner held off race leader Emma Norsgaard-Jorgensen (Team Rytger) and Cecilia LeBris (Breizh Ladies) in the sprint that decided the outcome.
Garner leads the points competition while Norsgaard-Jorgensen retains her overall lead heading into the stage four time-trial this morning.
Best of the Irish was Eve McCrystal, the Garda CC rider crossing the line in 11th, to lie sixth overall.
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