• Miguel Angel Lopez crashed on the gravel sector on the final climb of Stage 9 at the 2019 Vuelta a Espana (Getty)Source: Getty
Primoz Roglic and Miguel Angel Lopez both survived late crashes on Stage 9 to remain well and truly in the hunt for the Vuelta GC.
Cycling Central

Astana Pro Team, Jumbo-Visma
2 Sep 2019 - 10:53 AM 

Mechanical sinks Chaves' Vuelta GC hopes
Mitchelton-Scott's Vuelta GC hope Esteban Chaves suffered an ill-timed mechnical on the second climb of the day, a comical bike change adding further to his woes.
Quintana leads Vuelta after Pogačar motors to Stage 9 victory
Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) is the new leader of the Vuelta after Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) soloed to victory at the end of a wet and wild day of racing.

Both crashed separately on the final climb in the gravel section, vision of their plights not captured by the host broadcaster due to treacherous conditions. 

Lopez was on the attack and looked set to put in at least 50 seconds into his rivals when he crashed down on the Alto Els Cortals d’Encamp. 

"I felt really good and I attacked on that climb as we planned," he said. "Later, I’ve got a big help from Gorka and Jakob. I was pushing as hard as I could, and everything was OK until the moment I crashed down.

"It was very hard to handle the bike under that heavy rain on a gravel sector. Fortunately, I did not get any serious injury, but I lost time and my rivals came across me. I continued working hard, trying to stay in that group, but gravel and mud have damaged my bike, while there was no place to change it.

"I am still happy with my form and I realized I am good right now. Still two weeks in La Vuelta and we will keep on fighting,

The Colombian finished the stage 38 seconds behind Nairo Quintana and sits third overall, just 17 seconds behind his compatriot.  

Roglic looms just six seconds behind the new race leader despite also falling on the gravel section, the team blaming a moto for the crash. 

“It was very chaotic at one point," Jumbo Visma sports director Addy Engels said. "Not only because of the gravel, but also because of the bad weather conditions.

"Primoz crashed on the gravel due to a stationary motorbike. That is not okay and should not happen.

"All in all I think that, given the situation at one point, we have done some good business GC-wise. We are in a good position before Tuesday's time trial. Although we will never know what would have been possible without that crash.” 

The Vuelta a Espana resumes on Tuesday night after a rest day, LIVE from 11pm AEST and nightly on SBS Viceland or catch up with the daily highlights on SBS at 5pm.