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VeloNews magazine will bring you inside the sport of bike racing, with exclusive features, analysis, expert training advice, unbiased gear reviews and the absolute best cycling photography.

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Wild Ride Stetina on the attack in grand tour return

After suffering through 2018 with illness, Stetina has spent the 2019 season mixing up WorldTour duties with gravel and mountain bike racing, and a strong performance on stage 8 of the Vuelta shows hes back to his best.

IGUALADA, Spain (VN) Peter Stetinas wild ride in theVuelta a Españaon Saturday highlighted his return to the grand tours after two years.

The American escaped with a large group instage 8and attacked solo as the day turned from humid and hot to wet and cold with 30km to go. Unfortunately, he could not hold his move from so far out and his former companions picked him up and Nikias Arndt (Sunweb) sprinted to victory.

My health is back. I had some fun alternative racing, Im back in the grand tours. Im having a hell of a lot of fun this year, he told VeloNews. I love this world.

Stetina suffered through 2018 with the Epstein-Barr virus. He could not do what he loves, racing grand tours. Two years after closing out the 2017 Vuelta, though, he is back.

The eighth stage offered an opportunity for an escape and he tried. The solo move on the Monserra climb left 27km to race, but by the time he reached the top, Fernando Barcelo (Euskadi Basque Country-Murias) joined him and the rain fell.

We knew pretty early wed be racing for the stage today. This was the day that you could kind of tell no team really wanted to control it with Andorra tomorrow and a parcours like this, but anytime you have 20 guys, it gets complicated. You get a lot of wheel suckers and a lot of unhonest racing.

He added later, I hate that because you gotta ride with honor.

Stetina flew solo and looked convincing. He had spent all day vigilant to make sure he was at the front with the top men for the start of the climb.

Thats where I had to take my shot because I dont want to come to a sprint with these guys and unfortunately it turned into a bit of a headwind over the top [of the climb] and it wasnt enough to really shed everybody. Then the rain came and it just totally changed the dynamic and it became risking life and limb on that downhill, he continued.

Ive had some bad accidents in my life so I dont risk my life on a random corner but Im confident enough with the disc brakes now, especially to stay with the guys bombing it on the descent, but Im just not going to be the one attack. We came into those finals with the roundabouts that are wet and it went from hot and humid and ice socks on your back to kind of drizzly and cold and rainy, so your bodys just like, What the hell is going on? It was a wild ride.

In his love for the sport, Stetina spread his wings over the year to ride the Leadville 100 mountain bike race, the Dirty Kanza and win the Belgian Waffle Ride.

Im having a lot of fun this year, he added. I got my health issues out of the way in the off-season, and Ive had good form and am mixing it up with some alternative racing. Its a pleasure to be racing.

Hardest first week ever? Peloton feeling pinch after intense Vuelta opening

Vuelta a España stage 8: Nikias Arndt wins from the breakaway, Nicolas Edet takes race lead

Roglic emerges as most dangerous rival to climbers

Hardest first week ever? Peloton feeling pinch after intense Vuelta opening.

Vuelta a España stage 8: Nikias Arndt wins from the breakaway, Nicolas Edet takes race lead.

What Ayesha McGowan learned at the Colorado Classic.

Roglic emerges as most dangerous rival to climbers.

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VeloNews magazine will bring you inside the sport of bike racing, with exclusive features, analysis, expert training advice, unbiased gear reviews and the absolute best cycling photography.

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