Evenepoel keeps Vuelta lead despite fall; Carapaz wins stage

ESTEPONA, Spain (AP) — With bruises and cuts showing through a big gash on the side of his shorts, Remco Evenepoel got back on his bicycle and quickly rejoined the peloton.

It was just a scare for the young Belgian rider, who overcame a fall with about 45 kilometers (28 miles) to go in the 12th stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Thursday to keep his overall lead entering the second half of the final...

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ESTEPONA, Spain (AP) — With bruises and cuts showing through a big gash on the side of his shorts, Remco Evenepoel got back on his bicycle and quickly rejoined the peloton.

It was just a scare for the young Belgian rider, who overcame a fall with about 45 kilometers (28 miles) to go in the 12th stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Thursday to keep his overall lead entering the second half of the final Grand Tour race of the year.

Olympic champion Richard Carapaz won the stage with a dominant run on the final climb to earn his first Vuelta victory. The Ecuadorean from team Ineos Grenadiers hit the handlebar of his bicycle a couple of times to celebrate his fourth Grand Tour stage win.

Wilco Kelderman was second at the end of the stage, nine seconds behind Carapaz, and Marc Soler was third, 24 seconds off the lead.

Evenepoel showed no signs of being bothered by his right leg injury following the fall. The 22-year-old rider from team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl successfully fended off the breakaway attempts by his closest challenger, three-time defending champion Primoz Roglic.

Evenepoel maintained a lead of 2 minutes, 41 seconds over Roglic in the general classification, and was more than three minutes ahead of Enric Mas.

Evenepoel has held the leader’s red jersey since the sixth stage.

Riders on Friday will face a mostly flat stage from Ronda to Montilla in southern Spain.

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