Vuelta a Espana 2021 : Stage 10 – Storer doubles up, Eiking takes red, Roglic crashes

Michael Storer (Team DSM) collected his second victory on Stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana. The young Aussie attacked out of the mahoooosive break on the final climb, held his nerve on the swoooooshing descent and his gap on the run to the line. Odd Christian Eiking turned a virtual rojo into reality for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert – YES REALLY!! His breakaway rival for red Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) takes a huge leap up the standings to second overall – YES REALLY! Behind the break Primoz Roglic rocketed away from everyone on the climb, but took so many risks on the tricksy, dusty descent that he ended on the tarmac and lost all the seconds he gained on the Movistar pitchfork Enric Mas and Miguel Angel Lopez. He now sits in third at+2.17-YES REALLY!!

We start with this pre-stage prediction. #spoileralert it was the latter

I know the day after a rest day can sometimes been a little crazy, but I don’t think anyone expected what happened on the road to Rincon de la Victoria.

It took 80km of full gas racing for the break to go

When it did, it was massive. 31 riders including Vuelta stage winners Magnus Cort (EF Education – Nippo), Michael Storer (Team DSM). Former red jersey wearer King Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), and a whole host of breakaway favourites like Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech) and Matteo Trentin (UAE – Team Emirates).

With Jumbo-Visma’s blessing their gap ballooned out to over 10 minutes which put the red jersey into play with Odd Christian Eiking at +9:10 and Guillaume Martin at +9:39 – more on that later.

The stage winning, red jersey deciding, GC firecracker action came on the only categorised climb of the day  – the 2nd Cat Puerto de Almáchar (10.9km at 4.9 per cent) – and on the swooping descent into the finish line.

Let’s hear it for the man from Perth

The breakaway riders threw everything down on the climb. Attack after attack as each tried their luck and the group splintered into pieces as the fierce headwind took it’s toll. However, the man with the form and the strongest legs was Storer. He eased away from his companions and by the time he reached the summit was holding nearly 30 seconds.

I have to say, he looked a little edgy on the twisty technical descent and I wondered if he would hold his nerve and his advantage.

He did both and hammered away into the finish once the SWOOOOSH was over.

The chasing group hunted him down relentlessly, but he had more than enough seconds in hand to raise his arms in triumph.

When keeping it simple is the best plan of action

There was a massive fight for the breakaway. It was one of those epic days where it took more than 80 kilometres before it went. I was happy to get in there and then I was feeling good on the last climb, and I knew exactly what I needed to do on the last climb – I needed to attack.

Chapeau Michael Storer – he is to this year’s Vuelta what ex -teammate Marc Hirschi was to last years Tour.

Eiking vs Martin

My beloved Wanty have the red Jersey for the second time and this time with a VIKING on the top step. Slap my thighs and call me Betty!!

As if that wasn’t enough excitement for VeloVoices Towers, Euan’s beloved Cofidis have leapt to second overall with Guillaume Martin. FULL DISCLOSURE Monsieur Martin is a firm #Midgefav too.  Honestly, if our weekly Grand Tour podcast was tonight, I’m pretty certain we would both be afroth with giddiness.

If Martin  was going to climb to the top of the GC, he needed to find 29seconds on Eiking. The Frenchman is the more assured climber and had to make his move on the climb. But the Norwegian was wise to it. The pair watched each other like hawks on the ascent, barely a bike length between them at all times.

They passed the summit together – Martin mercifully having zipped up his jersey to the relief of all his fans-  and the advantage swung to Eiking.

We didn’t see the moment Eiking lost his shadow. We cut back to action in the groups behind and when the TV showed them again, they were in separate groups with Eiking riding like fury into the finish.

Wanty and Cofidis have two of the best social media accounts. LOVE this exchange

As if it all wasn’t spicy enough Roglic attacked from the GC group to add extra piquancy – until the unfortunate incident that is.

The moment Odd Christian Eiking claimed red

I’m thrilled for Wanty and Odd. He’s a real scrappy-do rider  – always attack with fierceness and heart and is lethal on this sort of terrain. I’ve always thought him a good match for the ‘little Belgian team that could’. His racing at the Arctic Tour showed he was on top form and this is a just reward.

Cofidis have every right to be cock-a-hoop tonight. Guillaume’s bravery in taking the break today has paid dividends once again.

They may not have their man in red but their leader is only 58secs behind Eiking, with his favoured terrain to come.  He also holds a healthy +1.19 on Roglic. Could we see Cofidis in extra red by the end of the week. #IAMEXCITE

No risk, no glory

It’s not easy being a fan of Jumbo Bee leader Primoz Roglic. One minute you’re riding the crest of a wave as he lights the blue touch paper and leaves his GC rivals for dead – or 20 seconds behind him at least.

The next he’s hurtling down the SWOOOSHING descent as if the very dogs of hell were upon is heels! All the risks taken as he looked for more seconds. One misjudgement at a corner and …

He was quickly back on his back bearing the usual rips to his lycra

and came over the line with his rivals – all those seconds his attack gained, lost in a single high-speed moment.

Of course there was debate about the way he chose to descend, the risk he took. Was it too much for so little a time gain? Eurosport commentator Sean ‘King’ Kelly wasn’t alone in his feeling that Roglic had been stupid to ride as he did.

The man himself had no such doubts. I LOVE HIM. This is why we love his style of style of racing. He puts it all out there sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But he rides with his heart on sleeve ALWAYS.

And least we forget, he may not have taken time on Mas, Miguel Angel Lopez or Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious). But the INEOS threat from Adam Yates and a faltering Egan Bernal was pushed further away, they sit at +4:46 and +5:01 respectively.

The final word

All the results

Stage results 

1 Michael Storer (Team DSM) 4:09:21

2 Mauri Vansavenant (Deceuninck-Quick Step) +0:22

3 Clement Champoussin (AG2R Citroen) same time

4 Dylan Van Baarle (Bahrain-Victorious) s/t

5 Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) s/t


GC Top 10 

1 Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) 38:37:46

2 Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +0:58

3 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +2:17

4 Enric Mas (Movistar Team) +2:45

5 Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar Team) +3:38

6 Jack Haig (Bahrain-Victorious) +3:59

7 Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) +4:46

8 Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +4:57

9 Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) +5:01

10 Felis Grosschartner (BORA-hansgrohe) +5:42

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey : Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux)

Points jersey : Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick Step)

King of the Mountains: Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious)

Best young rider : Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers)

Best team : Movistar (of course they are!)

For full race results, go to CyclingNews

Official Vuelta website is here 

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