Evenepoel left in the dust on Valenciana summit stage

Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana 2022 - 72nd Edition - 3rd stage Alicante - Antenas del Maigmo’ 155,1 km - 04/02/2022 - Aleksandr Vlasov (RUS - Bora - Hansgrohe) - Remco Evenepoel (BEL - Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team) - photo Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency©2022
Remco Evenepoel in yellow trails eventual stage winner Aleksandr Vlasov (Image credit: Luis Angel Gomez/SprintCyclingAgency)

Any hopes Remco Evenepoel may have had for taking three wins out of three stages at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana in Spain for his QuickStep-AlphaVinyl team were shattered on Friday's tough summit finish at Antenas del Maigmó as Russian Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) clinched both stage win and the race lead.

Dropped with 1.3 kilometres to go on when Vlasov launched his stinging attack, Evenepoel briefly attempted to stay in contention on a climb mixing a long, rocky gravel section and some lung-burstingly steep tarmacked slopes. But after leading the chasers off the sterrato, the young Belgian began to look increasingly unsteady and within seconds his other rivals like promising young Spaniard Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers) had leapt ahead.

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.