SAN MIGUEL DE AGUAYO, Spain (VN) — Juan Ayuso emerged from the mist near the top of the rainy Pico Jano summit to confirm himself as the dashing new hope of Spanish cycling at the Vuelta a España.
With Spanish cycling languishing during the past few seasons, the 19-year-old Ayuso delivered on the hype Thursday in stage 6 to ride to fourth in the Vuelta’s first decisive mountain stage.
Only stage-hunter Jay Vine, and GC favorites Remco Evenepoel and Enric Mas could fend him off as he dropped the likes of Primož Roglič and several other Vuelta favorites.
“It was a really hard day, especially with the rain and cold. I knew the Puerto de Brenes from when I raced as a junior, and on Pico Jano, I went at my own rhythm,” Ayuso said.