Vuelta a Espana 2021 : Stage 3 – Taaramäe unleashes island storm, reigns in red

The first mountain top finish of this year’s spicy Vuelta a Espana! Surely it would deliver us eye-watering fireworks packed with excitement and good racing and whet our appetites for the upcoming two and a half weeks of racing. Right?! Wrong! With Primoz Roglic and his Jumbo Bees largely disinterested in defending the leader’s jersey so early, the gap to the breakaway was allowed to swell tremendously, all but ensuring victory. After a slow-moving day, Estonian time trial champion Rein Taaramäe reigned victorious for Intermache-Wanty atop Picon Blanco. American superstar Joe Dombrowski came home second whilst “King Kenny” Elissonde rounded out the stage podium.

In the race of the general classification, Taaramäe relieved Roglic of the red jersey, while Elissonde moves up to second overall, and Primoz lurks in 3rd.


I’m told Spain has been experiencing a heatwave. Unfortunately for the country, Taaramäe’s win failed to bring the rains to Spain, but that isn’t his fault. We should celebrate his win regardless!

The emotions of the victor are what make so many grand tour stage victories so special, and Taaramäe is certainly no different in that respect. Particularly considering that a lengthy 10 years occupied the space between his two Vuelta victories.

Carapaz loses a bit of shine

One down, one more to go for whoever takes on the mantle of sole leader of Ineos : Richard Carapaz had a bad day. It might be all important video fodder for the next Movistar Netflix instalment.

To add insult to injury, Dickie received a 20sec time penalty for illegal feedings.

Midge’s King Kenny Agony

Today was a tough old finish for our dearest friend Midge. Despite her lovely life of orchids on the island, today was torn between her love of Intermarche-Wanty and the French Prince, King Kenny Elissonde. Allow us to relive the stage through her pained tweeting.

It’s a bit unclear what she was watching at the point of delivering this next tweet as Kenny had already been distanced, but LIVE YOUR KENNY LIFE, MIDGE!

At the day’s end, Midge was content with having Wanty win AND watching Kenny place on the podium. It was a happy VeloVoices Towers as even Issie got in on the hype!

A lesson in koalas

Do you call koalas “Koala bears?” Of course, you do, we all do! In today’s episode of “Things We Do When Racing Is Boring,” I present you with a lesson on koalas. Spoiler: They are, in fact, not bears.

Our special Australian correspondent presented a wonderful educational video to clear America’s confusion that these lovely animals are called koala bears.

Did anyone else notice that, upon watching that video, koalas have the face of someone who would be named Dick?

The Final Word

All the results

Stage results 

1 Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) 5:16:57

2 Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) +0:21

3 Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) +0:36

4 Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroën Team) +1:16

5 Enric Mas Nicolau (Movistar Team) +1:45

GC Top 10 

1 Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) 9:25:44

2 Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) +0:25

3 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:30

4 Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroën Team) +0:35

5 Enric Mas (Movistar Team) +0:45

6 Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar Team) +0:51

7 Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) +0:57

8 Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) +0:57

9 Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:57

10 Mikel Linda (Bahrain Victorious) +1:09

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey : Rein Taaramäe (Intermarche-Wanty)

Points jersey : Rein Taaramäe (Intermarche-Wanty)

King of the Mountains: Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix)

Best young rider : Egan Bernal (Ineos)

Best team : UAE Team Emirates

For full race results, go to

Official Vuelta website is here 

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