Kenny Elissonde: This isn’t the way I wanted to take the red jersey at the Vuelta a España

Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) in the leader's jersey at the Vuelta a Espana
Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) in the leader's jersey at the Vuelta a Espana (Image credit: Getty Images)

Kenny Elissonde couldn’t help but feel apologetic, even if he knew that he had nothing to apologise for. No rules, unwritten or otherwise, were broken on the road to Albacete on stage 5 of the Vuelta a España, where the Trek-Segafredo rider inherited the red jersey after race leader Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) was among the fallers in a mass crash with 11km to go.

Vigilance was the byword on the run-in, where the flat, exposed roads have historically lent themselves to crosswinds. Echelons had formed on five of the Vuelta’s last six visits to these parts, after all, and technical director Fernando Escartin had been, by his own admission, “deliberately nasty” in inserting several sharp changes of direction into the route.

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