The stage 13 race against the clock was an important target for Barta coming into the race and he made his intentions clear immediately after rolling off the ramp in Muros, setting the provisional fastest times at both the first and second intermediate checkpoints on the way to Mirador de Ézaro. Dumbría.
After an efficient bike change at the foot of the short but steep 1.8-kilometer climb up to the finish line, which had an average gradient of 14.8 percent, Barta once again settled into his rhythm quickly and continued to look strong as he powered up the category three ascent before stopping the clock at 46 minutes 40 seconds.
The American’s time, nine seconds ahead of the next-placed rider as he moved into the hot seat, held strong as rider after rider rolled across the line with only Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma), who also moved back into the red jersey, able to go faster by the slimmest of margins to take the day’s honors at the end of the day.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“I think if you had asked me yesterday if I would be happy with second place, I would have said that I would have been ecstatic about it but when, in the end, it’s by just one second, it’s obviously a bit disappointing. However, overall, I am happy with my effort and I don’t think that there is anything else that I could really have done.”
“I talked quite a bit with Marco [Pinotti] coming into the time trial about the power and pacing especially at the beginning as it was pretty flat but actually, with the headwind, it was challenging because there was never a point where you could really ease off the pedals. The final climb was just a wall really and so for the last kilometer or so going into that I tried to ease off slightly just to make sure I had something for that because it’s a really hard climb and, in fact, the final kilometer of it was pretty excruciating.“
“This time trial was the biggest goal of my race. I was really looking forward to it. It would have been super to win but, like I said, I’m happy with my performance. The first couple of days after the first rest day I wasn’t feeling super good but thankfully the legs came around and I was able to show my strength today. It’s a nice last week and we are still motivated to race for some good results. I think there is a lot of room for the breakaways so hopefully we can find ourselves in there.”
Vuelta a España
Stage 13/ITT: Muros > Mirador de Ézaro. Dumbría (33.7km)
Top 3: 1. Primož Roglič (Team Jumbo-Visma) 2. Will Barta (CCC Team) 3. Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team)
CCC Team Top 3: 2. Will Barta 47. Georg Zimmermann 60. Łukasz Wiśniowski