As the Vuelta a España heads towards its final week, Jesus Herrada will go into the weekend with an unexpected 3:22 lead over the rest of the GC contenders. The Spaniard took the leaders jersey in a smart move on stage 12 that gained over 11 minutes on the chasing peloton.
Herrada will have a challenge on his hands defending the race lead as the race heads into the high mountains. With six mountain stages and an individual time trial still to come it’s unlikely that he will be able to defend the lead but a top ten on GC may still be on the cards. That being said, the former Spanish national champion is no slouch when it comes to climbing. As a former mountain domestique for Spanish team Movistar, Herrada will know exactly what’s required of him if he is to hold onto his lead.
Before now Herrada has never finished higher than 47th in a Grand Tour, however that looks like it could soon change. No doubt Herrada will be hoping to replicate the feats of his fellow countryman Juan José Cobo, who – in an unexpected twist - took the Vuelta by storm beating Chris Froome and Bradley Wiggins to take the 2011 title.
Whatever the outcome, Team Cofidis have looked brilliant for the first time in years! They currently hold the race lead with Herrada as well as the King of the Mountains jersey with Luis Ángel Maté and have taken a well-deserved stage win with sprinter Nacer Bouhanni.
Jesus Herrada and the rest of his Cofidis team are using Suomy helmets at the 2018 Vuelta a España.