A stage as flat as a pancake, *they said*. A rare day for the sprinters at La Vuelta, *they said*. An easy day for Remco Evenepoel (QuickStep) to hold on to the Red Jersey, *they said*. An attack with 3km to go from Jumbo Visma’s Primoz “No Risk, No Glory” Roglic, *NOBODY said*.
Stage 16 of the 2022 Vuelta should have come with a health warning. From a Grand Tour with zilcho drama, to essentially the drama of seven seasons (may be exaggerating, may also not be) happening within the final 3km of today’s parcours. In a nutshell, all you need to know is that a sprinter, Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo), did win the stage and there was no change to the overall standings… but that is only the tip of a very large iceberg. Let’s start at
the very beginning 3km to go.
Stage 15 was the first stage in this year’s Vuelta with an HC climb – at the finish, no less – so it was a test to see just how successful all that high-altitude training was for the GC! At the end of the day, it was DSM’s Thymen Arensman, who won from the break, but give it another minute or so and the GC guys were sprinting for the finish to either gain time or minimise losses.
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