Frenchman Rudy Morado took the overall lead at the Vuelta a España on Wednesday after suffering a serious accident in last year’s competition, while Team UAE Emirates’ Marc Soler finished the fifth stage in Bilbao and returned home. brought victory to the fans of
South Africa’s Daryl Impey of Israel Premier Tech was second, and Englishman Fred Wright of Bahrain Victorious was third after escaping an escape group in the Basque hills.
Groupama-FDJ’s Morado finished the stage just two seconds ahead of Wright in the overall standings after a 187.2km narrow winding road through forested hills.
Morado has also had an eventful time since wearing the red jersey of the overall leader of the Vuelta a Espana for four days in 2018.
“I had a terrible accident and I didn’t know if I could ever get back on track. Then I had a very serious case of COVID and here I am leading the Grand Tour. It’s very emotional. It’s a great moment,” Morado said.
Morado was caught in a pile-up at last year’s Vuelta and was taken to a hospital in Santander to begin a slow recovery process.
The 32-year-old, who suffered a punctured lung in the crash, said today was a big day for him and he felt it before the race.
“Today I told my teammates that I could do it and I did it today. It feels great,” said Morado.
It was a painful moment for Wright, who would have been wearing the red jersey yesterday had Impey been on the line.
“I’m sure there will be better days. I’m sorry, but I tried. What can I do?” said the 23-year-old Londoner.
Wright leads the under-25 category.
Soler escaped near the top of the Alto de Vivero climb, the fifth climb of the stage, and always seemed to have a leg to rest.
“It was amazing,” said the Catalan.
“It was very difficult to escape this morning. I tried my luck at the end and it worked out on the downhill,” he said of hitting the finish line near Bilbao’s landmark Guggenheim Museum. said.
Next year’s Tour de France kicked off with three days in the Basque Country, with organizers in Spain to get a taste of the action.
Tour de France General Director Christian Prudhomme said: “We can’t wait to see the enthusiasm and passion of the fans at the Tour.
Crowds of people in orange Vuelta t-shirts lined the hill route when temperatures rose above 30°C on parts of the route.
Victor Langerotti won best climber’s jersey with polka dots and Sam Bennett retained best sprinter’s green jersey.
Yesterday’s stage was the first true mountain challenge for the title as the race was to go through the Santander hinterlands and culminate in a steep 13km climb.
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https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/sport/archives/2022/08/26/2003784192 Morado heads the Vuelta after a serious accident