'Total war' predicted by UAE Team Emirates for Thursday's Vuelta summit finish

TARRAGONA SPAIN AUGUST 29 Juan Ayuso of Spain and UAE Team Emirates competes during the 78th Tour of Spain 2023 Stage 4 a 1846km stage from Andorra la Vella to Tarragona UCIWT on August 29 2023 in Tarragona Spain Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images
Juan Ayuso is ninth in GC through stage 5, the highest-ranked rider on UAE Team Emirates at Vuelta a España (Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Management for UAE Team Emirates predict Remco Evenepoel’s announcement earlier this week that he may well 'loan out' the Vuelta a España leader’s jersey on stage 6 will spark cycling’s equivalent of a feeding frenzy.

When the Soudal-QuickStep rider and defending Vuelta champion regained la roja on stage 3 in Andorra on Monday, he said he would try to lose it as soon as possible to try to save his team energy in defending it at all costs. With two sprint stages following, he pointed to Thursday's mountainous stage, which includes a summit finish at Javalambre, as the first big realistic opportunity.

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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.