Despite a hectic finale Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick Step) perfectly delivered a third stage victory at the 2021 Vuelta a España on Tuesday’s stage 16. Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) just edged out Matteo Trentin (UAE-Team Emirates) to take second on the day.
The top of the general classification remained unchanged with Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) holding red ahead of two challenging days in the mountains.
The stage started on the wrong side of the bed after a crash took out 15 riders, including general classification contenders Enric Mas (Movistar), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits), and Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo). Ciccone continued for some time but eventually pulled out of the race, relinquishing his 12th place overall.
A six-rider breakaway went clear of the peloton 7 km into the stage and stayed away for the majority of the day. Once the race reached 14 km to go the composition of the breakaway started to shift, with riders getting left behind while attacks slipped away. Regardless of the predicted sprint finish, there were some attacks from the peloton, but most were short-lived. Only Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën) managed to escape the peloton and ride some closing kilometres alone.
Dewulf was caught with 4.5 km remaining as the sprinter’s trains lined up at the front of the peloton. The final kilometre was slightly chaotic and the teams struggled to stay intact, but Jakobsen still proved to be the best sprinter on the day.
La Vuelta ciclista a España (2.UWT) Laredo → Santa Cruz de Bezana
EIKING Odd Christian