Vuelta a Espana 2021 : Stage 19 – King Cort rules; Roglic still supreme

Today was the day where, if he hadn’t already at this Vuelta a Espana, Magnus Cort Nielsen cemented himself as KING Cort in the hearts and minds of viewers and pundits. On the undulating roads of Stage 19, the EF rider stormed to a Vuelta stage-victory hat-trick by assuredly out-sprinting his breakaway companions in the city of Monforte de Lemos. Just behind, the peloton, who had been brutally attempting to chase down the group out front for much of the stage, reached the finish line only a slender 18 seconds after the stage victor. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo Visma), Michael Storer (DSM) and Egan Bernal (Team INEOS) finished safely in the main bunch, while Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) rolled in latterly among the grupetto, meaning no change to the jerseys as we head into the final weekend.

A Stage for the Rouleurs

Stage 19 was earmarked as a day for the breakaway. Early climbing, followed by a lumpy/rolling terrain and a flat finish. With only one pure sprinter left in the Vuelta, and the stage coming on the back of two humongous mountain top finishes, it was unlikely there were many teams that would want to control the front of the peloton.

And then… Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) the quickest man in the race was dropped from the peloton, and suddenly Team Bike Exchange and Team DSM‘s ears perked up as they spotted one final opportunity for their sprinters.

Breakaway vs Peloton

The stage saw one of the tightest tussles between the breakaway and peloton that I’ve seen this season. Continuously on a knife edge – a few seconds gained by the peloton here, a few seconds taken back by the break there. The gap was as undulating as the roads themselves.

Bike Exchange and Team DSM were the teams most invested in bringing back the break, and took it in turns to burn themselves on the front.

Though the gap never really got much below 30 seconds.

Tenacious tactics from the break

The driving force from behind wasn’t enough to deter the group of seven riders that ended the stage in front of the peloton. Working extremely well together, they fought tooth and claw to keep their gap unassailable by the charging pack.

A mention for Meintjes

While the battle was on for the stage, the fantastic Louis Meintjes (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert), who had ridden so exceptionally on Alto del Gamoniteiro during Stage 18 and had forced his way into the general classification Top 10, sadly crashed out of the Vuelta on Stage 19.

He also wasn’t the only crash on Stage 19, with Ion Izaguirre crashing into a soigneur from Team Bike Exchange – totally bizarre!

Magnificent Magnus

When cyclists ride with such endeavour, spirit and determination such as a rider like Magnus Cort they easily become crowd favourites.

With two stage wins already under his belt, and not to mention that oh-so-near-win-but-not-quite on Valdepenas de Jaen, everyone and their dogs were rooting for Maggy Cort in the breakaway on Stage 19 when it became clear the victory would come from that group.

A monstrous sprint from the Dane, after some stellar teamwork, saw Cort win Stage 19 by a bike-length on the line over his breakaway companions. A hat-trick of stage wins by Magnus is nothing short of MAGNIFICENT.

Lawson Love!

One of the most heartwarming and special things about cycling is that behind every Supreme Champion there is always a selfless teammate celebrating as though *they* have just won the race.

Today this award goes to Lawson Craddock (and if this was the Arctic Tour of Norway, Lawson would be in the viking jersey right now!). Craddock, Magnus Cort’s EF teammate, was in the breakaway alongside the Dane and in the very final metres set Magnus up to sprint for victory.

Lawson, we quite frankly adore you!

Teamwork makes the dream work…

A shout to Jens Keukeleire of EF Education Nippo also, who at the front of the peloton disrupted the chase in the closing kilometres.

King of the Mountains showdown?

With Michael Storer currently in the blue polka dots and Team DSM teammate Romain Bardet also within touching distance of the jersey, dare we dream of a King of the Mountains showdown on the final categorised climbs of the Vuelta tomorrow?

The Last Word

Phenomenal recreation from @musettedutour on Twitter of Stage 18!

All the results

Stage results 

1 Magnus Cort (EF Education – Nippo) 4:24:54

2 Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates) same time

3 Quinn Simmons (Trek Segafredo) s/t

4 Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck-Quick Step) s/t

5 Anthony Roux (Groupama – FDJ) s/t

GC Top 10 

1 Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 77:49:37

2 Enric Mas (Movistar Team) +2:30

3 Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar Team) +2:53

4 Jack Haig (Bahrain-Victorious) +4:36

5 Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) +4:43

6  Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) +5:44

7Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +6:02

8 Gino Mader (Bahrain Victorious) +7:48

9 Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +8:31

10 David De La Cruz (UAE Team Emirates) +9:24

All the jerseys

Leader’s jersey : Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

Points jersey : Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick Step)

King of the Mountains: Michael Storer (Team DSM)

Best young rider : Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers)

Team : Bahrain Victorious

For full race results, go to CyclingNews

Official Vuelta website is here 

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