SISTIERNA, Spain. Jesús Herrada rested his head on the handlebars of his bike and wept profusely after winning stage 7 of the Spanish Vuelta.
The team member hugged Herrada, sat down by his bike and covered his face with both hands.
He was still wiping away his tears when the other riders arrived to congratulate him.
It took the 32-year-old Spaniard a few minutes to fully recover after winning the seventh stage of the Vuelta.
Remko Evenepoel safely stayed in the peloton and kept his lead in the overall standings ahead of Rudy Molar, Enrik Mas and three-time defending champion Primoz Roglic.
Herrada triumphed in the breakaway group, winning his second Vuelta stage and first in three years. The Cofidis rider narrowly passed Samuele Battistella and Fred Wright after a 190 km (118 mile) mid-mountain stage in northern Spain.
“This is crazy,” Errada said. “I had to be patient on the last kilometer following the wheels. I knew that there were fast people in the group, but I trusted my sprint. We will enjoy this victory.”
It was the Spaniard’s second victory in three days after the country had not won a Grand Tour race for two years. Marc Soler won the fifth stage on Wednesday, breaking the Spaniards’ losing streak.
The peloton was closing in on the five breakaways, which also included Jimmy Janssens and Harrison Sweeney, but not fast enough.
Evenepool was among those who crossed the line 29 seconds late, maintaining an overall lead of 21 seconds over Molard and 28 seconds over Mas. Roglic remained fourth overall, about a minute behind him.
“It’s a pity that the team-working teams didn’t catch the lead, but there was a really strong group up ahead,” said Evenepul of Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl. “I have a pretty good lead right now, so I would be happy too if I could just keep this time gap compared to the rest, but of course, if there is an opportunity, I will not miss it. It’s a three-week race and it’s better to come to the race with an advantage than to fall behind.”
Evenepool is only the second Belgian rider to retain the red jersey for more than one day at the Vuelta in the last 40 years, after Philippe Gilbert who did so in 2010.
On Saturday, the riders will have a difficult mountain stage in Asturias.
WOLLONGONG, Australia. Søren Warenskiöld repeated the success of the Norwegians who won the gold medal at the Road Cycling World Championships the day after Tobias Voss finished first in the elite men’s time trial.
Warenskiöld won the men’s under-23 time trial on the second day of the championship with a dominant result. He showed 34 minutes 13.40 seconds over a distance of 28.8 km, ahead of the Belgian Alec Segart by 16.34 seconds.
British rider Leo Hayter, younger brother of elite rider Ethan Hayter, was 24.16 seconds behind the racer’s pace to take the bronze medal.
Foss beat the strong field to win the elite time trial, the biggest win of his career.
Norway has two gold medals and Dutch Ellen van Dijk beat Australia’s Grace Brown to win the Women’s Elite Time Trial.
The mixed relay is scheduled for Wednesday. The championship ends at the weekend with women’s road races on Saturday and men’s road races on Sunday.
WOLLONGONG, Australia. Ellen van Dijk defended her title and took her third gold medal in the women’s time trial at the opening of the Road Cycling World Championships on Sunday.
Taking advantage of the technical track, the Dutch star maintained a perfect pace to pass Australia’s Grace Brown by 12.79 seconds to defend gold in the time trial she won last year. Bronze went to Swiss Marlene Reusser.
Local favorite Brown was an early starter and had a brilliant time on the 34.2 km (21.3 miles) circuit in the picturesque waterfront city center of Wollongong, south of Sydney.
No one on the 45-man team could come close to Brown’s time of 44m41.33s until the last pairing of van Dijk and Reusser, who won silver at last year’s World Championships in Belgium, had better results on the first check.
Reusser then beat Brown’s time by over 41 seconds, but van Dijk earned her third gold medal with a time of 44:28.60.
Olympic time trial champion and two-time world champion Annemiek van Vleuten finished seventh, more than 90 seconds behind compatriot van Dijk.
Later on Sunday, Vuelta a España winner Remco Evenepoel of Belgium, two-time world champion Filippo Ganna of Italy and two-time Tour de France winner Tadej Pogacar of Slovenia will headline the men’s event.
Other big races are the mixed time trial relay on Wednesday and the women’s road race next Saturday before the men’s race on Sunday’s closing day, where local star and Giro d’Italia winner Jai Hindley races against the clock to recover from COVID-19 to take his place in the race.