Jesús Herrada steals the 11th stage of La Vuelta 2023 from INEOS Grenadiers
Triumph of the breakaway in the 11th stage of La Vuelta a España 2023 that reached la Laguna Negra de Vinuesa. A day with a gentle profile and an uphill finish in which the favorites let themselves go in anticipation of the intense days that remain from tomorrow. Geraint Thomas tried, unsuccessfully, to make up for an eventful first week.
Jesús Herrada takes the first Spanish victory in La Vuelta 2023
The eleventh stage of La Vuelta, as was foreseeable after the hard effort involved in the time trial and a practically flat profile despite the fact that the last 9 kilometers corresponded to the ascent to la Laguna Negra de Vinuesa, had as protagonist the breakaway of the day, among whose members the victory was decided.
163 kilometers that started in the town of Lerma (Burgos) to run through a mainly flat terrain and without compromising areas, not even by the wind as the race entered the dense vegetation of the pine forest of Soria.
With this background we lived a tremendously fought start of the race with continuous attacks and counterattacks on a day that everyone wanted to get into the breakaway as it was very likely to have a prize. More than an hour lasted the tug of war until, finally, a group of 26 members was formed with names like Jesus Herrada, Jonathan Caicedo, Andreas Kron or Luis Leon Sanchez although, undoubtedly the presence of Geraint Thomas who was looking to get rid of the thorn after losing all his options for the overall and Filippo Ganna who, having achieved his goal of winning the time trial after a first week saving his strength, now has a free bar to try to continue adding.
Once the breakaway was formed, the peloton let them do it, with Jumbo-Visma controlling the lead so that the advantage did not exceed 6 minutes, but without any intention of neutralizing.
The race reached the final climb where, after a couple of timid attacks, Filippo Ganna went into locomotive mode gradually tightening the pace to try to leave Geraint Thomas in the best conditions as close to the finish. A pace that was wreaking havoc on the group that was gradually breaking up as they entered the steepest ramps of the climb.
With 2 km to go Ganna was dropped, a moment that Jonathan Caicedo took advantage of to start although he was immediately dried up by Thomas. The EF Education-EasyPost rider tried again at the last kilometer and now he managed to open a few tens of meters ahead. Rudy Molard took on the task of closing the gap, a job that Thomas took advantage of to stick to his wheel and pull away about 400 meters from the finish, but without closing the gap. It was then that Jesús Herrada saw his distance and started with tremendous force 300 m from the line, in a finish almost similar to last year's Monasterio de Tentudía, in which he did it too far away.
The man from La Mancha, however, had learned his lesson and his attack did not let up, achieving a resounding victory. Jesús Herrada arrived at the finish line with emotion, dedicating the victory to a teammate who had recently passed away, as he later revealed in his declarations after the stage.
Behind, there were no significant movements, with all the favorites entering the stage in the same time and waiting for tomorrow's stage on the way to Zaragoza. A stage that is always dangerous if the wind appears, especially due to the design of the route looking for the maximum incidence of the Cierzo. A wind that, however, according to the latest weather forecasts seems that it will not make an appearance.
Stage 11 Classification
- Jesús Herrada (Cofidis) 3h29’17’’
- Romain Gréggoir (Groupama-FDJ) +03’’
- Andreas Kron (Lotto-Dstny) +08’’
- Jonathan Caicedo (EF Education-EasyPost) +12’’
- Geraint Thomas (INEOS Grenadiers) +19’’
- Pelayo Sánchez (Burgos-BH) +24’’
- Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) m.t.
- Nicolas Prodhomme (AG2R-Citroën) +27’’
- Dorian Godon (AG2R-Citroën) +58’’
- Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) +1’16’’
- Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +39h27’45’’
- Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) +26’’
- Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) +1’09’’
- Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1’36’’
- Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ) +2’02’’
- Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +2’16’’
- Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +2’22’’
- Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) +2’25’’
- Enric Mas (Movistar Team) +2’50’’
- Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) +3’14’’