Stage 9 of the Vuelta a España saw the race head to Andorra for an explosive mountain stage ahead of the first rest day. With five climbs packed into just 94.4 kilometres, it was always likely to serve up drama, but the action was made all the more spectacular by hailstorms and a section of gravel roads that saw a couple of overall contenders crash.
Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) had already caught the eye in his debut Grand Tour, but the 20-year old’s extraordinary talent was laid bare with a memorable solo stage victory atop the Alto Els Cortals d’Encamp.
Nairo Quintana (Movistar) was unable to follow Pogacar in the final couple of kilometres and had to settle for second place, though the Colombian moved into the red jersey as overall lead of the race. Nicolas Edet and Dylan Teuns, first and second at the start of the day, fell away, as expected, and Quintana rode away from the rest of his rivals to put himself in pole position ahead of Tuesday’s important time trial.
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) finished 25 seconds down on Quintana, crossing the line with Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) finished 13 seconds later but will be disappointed after a long-range attack came undone when he crashed on the gravel section.
Watch how it all unfolded in the highlights video above.
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