• Remi Cavagna celebrates as he crosses the finish line in Toledo on the 19th stage of the 2019 La Vuelta a Espana (Getty)Source: Getty
Remi Cavagna's first grand tour stage win came in fine style, with a plucky late attack on the 165km 19th stage from Ávila to Toledo. Primoz Roglic maintained his grip on the leader’s red jersey despite crashing.
Source:
Reuters
14 Sep 2019 - 6:52 AM  UPDATED 14 Sep 2019 - 8:22 AM

Haters gonna hate: Movistar criticised for attacking after Vuelta crash
"What a world champion we have." Miguel Angel Lopez sure didn't mince words when Movistar put the hammer down after a large nasty crash took down he and the red jersey Primoz Roglic.

The 24-year-old Frenchman, in just his second grand tour, rode away from the day's break with 25km to go and never looked back, finishing just five seconds ahead of the chasing peloton, who swallowed the rest of the leading group with just over one kilometre of the cobbled uphill finish remaining. Sam Bennett (Bora-hansgrohe) was the best of the rest. 

“I suffered a lot at the end of the race," the Deceuninck - Quick Step rider said. "The last 25 kilometres were terrible. It was pretty much headwind. I wanted to go faster but I couldn’t. I was afraid they would come back and in the end it worked out. I looked behind in the last straight and I saw they were in the corner.

"Then, I said, ok, they’re too far, I’ve won. Every day we try to do our best with the team. It’s already our fourth stage win. We were riding for Philippe [Gilbert] today. A big group went, I followed and I didn’t have to pull because my leader was at the back. It was my goal, to win a stage at La Vuelta. And this is deliverance."

But it's the Vuelta a España and as usual, nothing went according to plan in the chase behind. 

Smashed with rain and intense crosswinds from the outset, a crash at around the 100km mark on a descent  brought down Roglic and Astana's Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana.

WATCH: crash on Stage 19 of the 2019 Vuelta a Espana and other key moments

Roglic and Lopez both came off their bikes, while Roglic’s team mate Tony Martin was forced to abandon due to injuries suffered in the collision.

Movistar, containing second-placed Alejandro Valverde and third overall Nairo Quintana, attacked moments later, much to the annoyance of the peloton. Team Ineos’s Owain Doull told Eurosport: “It depends if they were riding out ahead beforehand - if they weren’t then that was shocking.

“It’s not like they did it for a few kilometres and then sat up, it was pretty divided for a while. If I were Roglic and Jumbo I wouldn’t be happy. I’m not happy and it had nothing to do with me.”

Movistar’s sporting director Jose Luis Arrieta told Spanish television the team had always planned to attack after that descent and accused the UCI of dictating that Roglic and Lopez be allowed to join the main group by moving in the slipstream of team cars, something which is not usually permitted.

After the stage, Roglic insisted he did not notice Movistar putting down the hammer. 

Cycling etiquette dictates that if the race leader suffers an accident or mechanical they should be allowed to rejoin the peloton with no attacks permitted, which is where the main bone of contention stems from. Valverde eventually ordered his team to slow down, allowing Roglic to catch up.

Roglic leads Valverde by two minutes and 47 seconds with tomorrow’s 190km mountain stage - containing five climbs - from Arenas de San Pedro to Plataforma de Gredos realistically the world champion’s final chance to claw back time on the Slovenian.

Watch Stage 20 nice and early from 7.50pm AEST streaming at our website and via SBS On Demand and on SBS Viceland from 10.30pm AEST.