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. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Vuelta a Espana 2021 : Stage 5 – Sprint win for Philipsen; bittersweet red for Elissonde

Stage 5 of this year’s Vuelta a Espana had the flattest profile of all the stages – a bunch sprint was a sure thing. Cycling fans, teams, and commentators alike, feeling starved of drama and excitement and desperate for a dose of action, had spent time pre-stage hyping up the potential for crosswinds and echelons, which, sadly, came to nothing. The stage, which proved to be an extremely dull affair, marred by a horrendous crash at 11.6km, but which also saw a second impressive stage victory for Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix), felt extremely bittersweet. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche Wanty Gobert), caught up in the crash and unable to get sufficiently close to the front group, ended the day losing the red jersey to Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), while DSM’s Romain Bardet‘s grand tour bad luck continued, coming down hard in the crash and finishing the stage battered, bruised and with the biggest loss from all the GC contenders.

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