Patrick Bevin had to settle for the status of bridesmaid in stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana, having spent a huge amount of time in the hot seat. It was a familiar story for Bevin, who’s several times been in the position of being in the lead only to be denied the win at the last.
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“It’s disappointing,” Bevin said post-stage, having seen a near two-hour wait in the hot seat be ended by the penultimate rider in the hot seat. “Primož has been the form TT rider all year so, to win here you had to be really good because he’s been the benchmark all season. Second is second. I’ve been here before and sat in a few hot seats and had him come over the top, that’s bike racing. I’ll be chipping away and I will get one eventually.”
Bevin has had a long list of strong performances in time trials, with eight top ten performances in World Tour and world championship time trials in the last two seasons. Of those occasions this is the third time that Roglič’s name has been at the top of the standings by the end of the stage. In the 2018 Itzulia Basque Country they were separated by 8 seconds over 19.4km, and in the 2019 Tour de Romandie they were separated by 16 seconds.
The timing of Bevin’s runner-up finish in La Vuelta’s race of truth is very good with the world championships honing into view; and a result there would be a fine way to cap off a season of big highs and big lows. “It’s been a rough season for me and I’ve turned it around in the back end with an eye on the Worlds so, to have strong legs ten days into the Vuelta is good but, obviously you always want a little bit more. We will keep working, go back to the drawing board and keep pushing.”
On paper stage 10 was the kind of course that could open up big time gaps and so it proved, with the top four now separated by 3 minutes instead of the 20 seconds that separated them just 24 hours earlier. Bevin explained more in a team statement. “It was a super hard course. I knew, having ridden it, that it was a tough one to read and that it could go towards the climbers but, Primož is not a pure climber, he’s been the best all year in time trials.”
“I’m pretty disappointed with second really, as I came here with this one stage marked but, for me, getting this stage out of the way opens up the second part of the race. I’ve been trying to build my form and get my racing legs back over this first part and now we will look towards the rest of the race and target some more stages.”