• The GC favourites hang tough on the classic style Stage 12 of the 2019 La Vuelta a Espana (Getty)Source: Getty
The Vuelta's main GC contenders expect an explosive finish to Stage 13 atop the hors categorie Los Machucos. Watch the action unfold on SBS Viceland LIVE from 11pm AEST or streaming via our website and SBS On Demand.
Cycling Central

Vuelta a Espana
6 Sep 2019 - 10:45 AM  UPDATED 6 Sep 2019 - 10:56 AM

Roglic is human and we’ll find his weakness: Lopez

Astana's team leader tested his legs and his rivals on the final climb of Stage 12. While Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team mates quickly shut the move down, it bouyed Miguel Angel Lopez ahead of tomorrow's tough finish.

“I only attacked to see how the others were feeling," he said. "Still, I knew it would be hard to open differences in that kind of climb. Tomorrow will be quite an important stage. We hope to have good legs to do something interesting.

"Primoz Roglic is human. If he were a machine, of course he would be unbeatable… But he is human and we’ll find his weakness.”

A Slovenian alliance? 

Slovenian Massive

Tadej Pogacar (fifth overall) and race leader Primoz Roglic bumped fists and embraced after finishing with their GC rivals in Bilbao. It was probably no more than a mark of respect between compatriots, but an alliance could prove helpful as Astana and Movistar look to try and pummel Roglic into Tuesday's rest day.

Either way, the youngster expects Jumbo-Visma won't be able to set as strong a tempo on Stage 13 as they did today.  

"Tomorrow is a bit longer," he said. "I think it will be like Stage 7 and it will be a stage that will explode."

Stage 13 marks Roglic's Los Machucos debut, his knowledge of the climb limited. 

"I don’t know Los Machucos, it will be my first time up there," he said. "I know there are very steep ramps, it will be a hard climb for sure.

"The team will have to work from km 0, to control who’s in the breakaway and then control the stage. The GC guys will attack in the last climb. We’ll be alone and it will be about making it to the top as fast as possible.”

When asked if Lopez will be the most dangerous threat tomorrow, Roglic answered typically with measure.

"We'll see. Tomorrow is a new day a lot different. We'll just see who will have the best day or the best legs everyone can attack so we just have to be focused again with the team like today and try to do our best ."

...and Movistar?

Alejandro Valverde (second overall) expects a party too.

"we just tried to survive and look to tomorrow’s stage," he said. "When López attacked into the Arraiz climb, I was a bit boxed in into the group, behind Pogacar, and it look a bit for me to react to that move, but in the end, it was not a problem.

"Tomorrow’s stage will be quite harder, and surely more decisive.”

The Vuelta a Espana resumes tonight with Stage 13 and its mountain top finish LIVE from 11pm AEST on SBS Viceland or streaming at our website / SBS On Demand. If you can't stay up, catch up with the daily highlights on SBS at 5pm or here on our website. 

Vuelta a España: why you should watch the rest of Week 2
Hectic racing, epic crashes, team disharmony, a marijuana crop - the Vuelta's already dished up some quality storylines. And it ain't over yet. Lean into your FOMO and catch Stages 12-16 on SBS Viceland or streaming here or via SBS On Demand.