News | Vuelta a Espana • September 11, 2022
Ayuso makes history with podium at Vuelta España as Molano triumphs
Young Spaniard youngest ever Vuelta podium finisher
After three weeks of high emotion UAE Team Emirates and 19 year-old Juan Ayuso finally were allowed to celebrate as the curtain came down on an intense but successful month of racing.
The final stage to Madrid ended in style with Sebastian Molano proving the strongest of all having being delivered to the line perfectly, with Pascal Ackermann following close in his wheel for 3rd place. The win marks Molano’s first at World Tour level and the 41st victory of the year for UAE Team Emirates.
Ayuso, in his debut Grand Tour, took 3rd place overall on the podium behind his compatriot Enric Mas (Movistar) and overall race winner Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl). In the process he comes the youngest ever podium finisher at La Vuelta España and the second ever youngest podium finisher in the history of any Grand Tour.
The success of Ayuso was complimented by the strength of his team : Joao Almeida fought to 5th place in the final classification, underlining his Grand Tour pedigree.
Marc Soler revived the good times for Spanish cycling with an unforgettable solo victory on Stage 5 into Bilbao. The ever-present Catalan stood on the podium in Madrid for the most combative rider prize.
The whole team would then make the journey to the podium as the winners of the Team Classification : a welcome celebration for the work done throughout the race.
Sebastian Molano : “I’m still processing this victory, I’m so happy. The goal was to go for the sprint with Ackermann. I had really goos legs today. I jumped with 300m and I saw that Pedersen was coming so I knew I had to keep the speed up to stay in front or so that Pascal could come around the other side. I had to keep pushing. It’s the end of a beautiful Vuelta for all of us in the team. I’d like to dedicate this victory to my mother and my family.”
Juan Ayuso: “It’s a dream to be on the podium in this my first Vuelta España. I came in at the start taking it day by day and gaining experience, not really knowing what my limits were and I’m thrilled I could do this result with this great group of guys. We raced really well for the whole three weeks and finished it off well today with Molano was the icing on the cake. It was perfect. ”
Results 21st stage:
1.Sebastian Molano (UAE Team EMirates) 2:26:36
2.Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) s.t
3.Pascal Ackermann (UAE Team Emirates) s.t
General classification after the 21st stage:
1.Remco Evenepoel (Deceuninck-Quickstep) 80:26:59
2.Enric Mas (Movistar) +2’02”
3.Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) +4’57”
5.Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +7’24”