Rinse and repeat. 4 years after he final wore the crimson jersey of Vuelta a España, Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) as soon as once more claimed the provisional total lead in Spain’s Grand Tour from a mid-first week day-long break, and as soon as once more promised to maintain the lead for so long as attainable.
In 2018, Molard held the lead within the Vuelta for 4 comparatively simple days earlier than lastly ceding it to Simon Yates on the Covatilla summit end. This time spherical, with the peloton set to deal with the 12-kilometre ascent to Pico Jano as early as Thursday, his dedication to stay within the prime spot shall be put to the check far sooner.
In any case, capturing the Vuelta lead, as Molard defined, is a serious step ahead after in 2021 he needed to stop the race on stage 16 with a collapsed lung after a crash that left him out of racing for over two months.
“It means quite a bit to me,” he advised journalists. “Final yr the crash was actually unhealthy, I didn’t know if I had it in me to get again to my finest degree. I used to be not in a very good place over the winter, I needed to spend 9 weeks with out doing any sport.”
“Lastly I got here again to race on the finish of March. And now I’m the chief of a Grand Tour!”
Molard mentioned that he had needed to watch one rider, Bahrain Victorious racer Fred Wright, as the 2 had been the one ones able to go for GC. And having taken some seconds on the highest of El Vivero on the second ascent, Wright stays his closest risk total.
“It’s an ideal day for me, I used to be eager about it since yesterday once I stayed up on GC. I advised my teammates it was attainable to get the crimson jersey as we speak and I did it, it feels so good. There was loads of stress however this implies quite a bit to me.”
After thanking teammate and fellow break rider Jake Stewart for serving to him keep in competition for the lead, Molard mentioned he was decided to try to maintain on to the highest spot for so long as attainable.
“The Vuelta is a race which has at all times suited me. It’s open, unpredictable racing and that’s the sort I like” he mentioned.
“We got here right here searching for stage wins, however for now we’ll concentrate on defending the lead as finest we are able to. After every thing that occurred to me, this actually means quite a bit.”