Vuelta a Espana 2021 : Stage 16 – Jakobsen takes the sprint, Odd still in red

As the Vuelta a Espana headed into its third and final week, Stage 16 was seen as one of the final opportunities for the sprinters and their teams. With Alpecin’s Jasper Philipsen leaving the race last week, the out-and-out favourite for today’s stage was current green jersey wearer, Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep). However, with over 1,200 metres of climbing and some wind in play on parts of the route, other teams (well, UAE Team Emirates) put Jakobsen and The Wolfpack to the test. A ferociously fast stage did see Jakobsen distanced at one point, however some solid teamwork saw the man in green make it back to the bunch way before the finale, where, as predicted, he blew his competition away to take a powerful victory. Jordi Meeus (Bora-hansgrohe) and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) rounded out the podium, with Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarche-Wanty) remaining in red for another day.

Before Lights, Camera, Action

The Vuelta’s Slovenian contingent, who have been taking cycling by storm this past season or two, had time for a catch up pre-roll out.

It was a brutal start to the day before the cameras got rolling for several riders, who, if the subsequent pictures of ripped jerseys are anything to go by, were caught in a nasty pile-up.

Sadly as a result a few riders had to say “Adios!”  to the Vuelta – including Trek Segafredo’s Giulio Ciccone who has made new fans galore this season. Wishing a very speedy recovery to all!

Fast and Furious

UAE Team Emirates clearly spent some time watching the Benelux Tour on their rest day, as with just under 60km to go the whole team hit the front of the peloton, driving the bunch at full gas over the unclassified peaks.

One can only assume the plan was to put Jakobsen under pressure on the inclines in an attempt to for Trentin to reach that elusive top spot on the podium.

And in fairness to UAE, for a short while it did work – Jakobsen was distanced and DQS were left with a 30+ second gap to close.

Hat-trick for the birthday boy

But close the gap Deceuninck-QuickStep did. The terrain was simply not tough enough to shake Jakobsen and his teammates for good. Once the groups had come back together, DQS, DSM, FDJ and EF Education Nippo for super Magnus Cort, of course, took over the reins from UAE at the front of the peloton to bring back the remainder of the breakaway and set up a bunch sprint.

The pace in the closing KMs was fierce and the leadouts frenzied but, despite the chopping and changing direction of the road, the stage finished without any further incident.

Birthday boy Fabio Jakobsen, as predicted by almost everyone, was by far the superior sprinter on the day and took a straightforward third stage victory at Vuelta 2021. He also further solidified his lead in the points competition.

Odd Christian Eiking finished safely alongside his general classification rivals, so the Couch Peloton must wait another day for the hotly anticipated GC battle…

The Last Word

All the results

Stage results 

1 Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 4:08:57

2 Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) S/T

3 Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) S/T

4 Michael Matthews (Team Bike Exchange) S/T

5 Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) S/T

GC Top 10 

1 Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) 64:06:47

2 Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +0:54

3 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1:36

4 Enric Mas (Movistar Team) +2:11

5 Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar Team) +3:04

6 Jack Haig (Bahrain-Victorious) +3:35

7 Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) +4:21

8 Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) +4:34

9 Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +4:59

10 Felix Grossschartner (BORA-hansgrohe) +5:31

All the jerseys

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

Points jersey : Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick Step)

King of the Mountains: Romain Bardet (Team DSM)

Best young rider : Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers)

Team : Ineos Grenadiers

For full race results, go to CyclingNews

Official Vuelta website is here 

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