Vuelta Stage Report: Stage 16 was a tricky stage for Deceuninck – Quick-Step to control, but in control they were. Their fast-finisher Fabio Jakobsen was even dropped at one point, but they got him back to the front to take the victory. Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) held the overall lead.
*** The full ‘PEZ Stage Report’ very soon. ***
Stage 16 final K
The sixteenth stage of the 2021 Vuelta a España was won by Fabio Jakobsen. After a twisty 180 kilometres, the Dutch Deceuninck – Quick-Step sprinter was first across the finish line in Santa Cruz de Bezana. Odd Christian Eiking remains the leader on GC.
Stage 16 Profile
Technical director, Fernando Escartín: “Last clear stage for the sprinters of La Vuelta 21. It will take place through a territory similar to that of the stage between Castro Urdiales and Suances, in the race’s 2020 edition. This time, however, the winner will be decided in a mass sprint to the finish-line.”
Last chance for Jakobsen to gain points or a stage win in this Vuelta
First break of the day cams from Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën), Mikel Bizkarra (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Dimitri Claeys (Qhubeka NextHash) and Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo), Jetse Bole (Burgos-BH) jumped after them
Early in the stage there was a crash including Guillaume Martin and Enric Mas. The Frenchman and the Spaniard escaped unscathed and were quickly able to rejoin the peloton. Giulio Ciccone was also involved, and had some more problems and needed medical help. Four riders managed to escape: Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën), Dimitri Claeys (Qhubeka NextHash), Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) and Mikel Bizkarra (Euskaltel-Euskadi).
The sprinter’s teams kept the break’s lead to 2 minutes into the last 100km
A fifth rider joined later. Jetse Bol missed the first move, but successfully got across. The five leaders never got more than 2 minutes ahead of the peloton, where Deceuninck – Quick-Step, Groupama-FDJ and DSM led the chase. They kept the difference at around one and a half minutes.
Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) crossed to the break with 65 km to go
Lots of horse-power here
Because the lead was so minimal, Lotto Soudal saw a chance to make the jump on the Cat-3 Alto de Hijas. Harm Vanhoucke and Maxim Van Gils start the attack. Vanhoucke was the stronger of the two and managed to join the five leaders after the descent. The peloton gave the six a two-minute lead, but it quickly declined on the second serious climb of the day: the third category Alto de San Cipriano.
Shouldn’t be a difficult stage for the Movistar team
It was UAE Team Emirates that put the pressure on that short climb. The peloton split into several pieces and Fabio Jakobsen was in the back group. This was one of the reasons Matteo Trentin put his men on the front. With 35 seconds on the Jacobsen group, the peloton came over the top, but the sprinter had a large part of his Deceuninck – Quick-Step team with him. The Belgian team was able to catch the peloton within 5 kilometres.
Cantabria in the north of Spain – Very green, unlike the middle and the south
Deceuninck – Quick-Step were looking for a bunch sprint
Despite this, UAE Team Emirates continued to set the pace, but they stopped their work 30 kilometres from the finish. It was then the sprinter’s teams that took matters into their own hands, but the six leaders were not easily taken in. In the finalé there were some short climbs, each about a kilometre long at 5 to 7%. Bol broke up the leading group on one of those climbs, but the peloton was already on their heels 10 kilometres before the finish.
Could Groupama-FDJ get Démare over the line first?
UAE Team Emirates rode hard and split the peloton, but nothing came of it
Dewulf held out the longest of all the early escapees. With a 20 seconds lead, the Belgian started the last 8 kilometres, but the chasing peloton caught him with 4 kilometres remaining. Then it was up to the trains of the fast men in the twisty finish towards Santa Cruz de Bezana. BORA-hansgrohe and Groupama-FDJ were in charge eat this point.
It was only a matter of time for the break
It was a tricky run-in to the finish line
Two kilometres from the finish, the Deceuninck – Quick-Step train came to the fore. In the technical final section, Jakobsen was kept well forward, after which he turned into the last straight line on Jordi Meeus’ wheel. With a strong finish, the birthday-boy Jakobsen managed to out-sprint the Belgian by more than a bike length and claim his third stage victory. Meeus was second, ahead of Trentin and Matthews.
Another stunning sprint form Fabio Jakobsen
Stage winner and points competition leader, Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck – Quick-Step): “A birthday is always a good day, but I’m over the moon with this win. This is the Wolfpack. I was dropped on the climb. The guys waited for me, they brought me back and I win the race. It’s all thanks to them. The only thing I had to do was a short fast sprint, and they did everything else today. I’m never confident that I’m gonna win, but I always try because if you don’t try, you never win. I’m really happy and also I would like to take this moment, with my third victory, to thank three people that were really important in my recovery: professor Meijer from the Nijmegen hospital, Yvan Van Mol, my doctor in the team, and Cor van Wanrooij, my osteopath for my recovery. So I would like to thank those three, I love you all.”
No, not Peter Sagan – Birthday boy Jakobsen
Overall leader, Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux): “Tactically speaking, it was maybe my easiest day in the red jersey but in another way it was hard to restart after the rest day. I felt okay but sleepy all day. In the end, it wasn’t difficult to defend the red jersey today. Tomorrow the Lagos de Covadonga will be very decisive for the GC. It will be a really hard racing from the start. It will be a lot of fun to race up there.”
Eiking still in red, tomorrow…
Vuelta a España Stage 16 Result:
1. Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck – QuickStep in 4:08:57
2. Jordi Meeus (Bel) BORA-hansgrohe
3. Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
4. Michael Matthews (Aus) BikeExchange
5. Alberto Dainese (Ita) DSM
6. Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
7. Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
8. Riccardo Minali (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
9. Antonio Jesus Soto Guirao (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
10. Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën
11. Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
12. Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal
13. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
14. Itamar Einhorn (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
15. Carlos Canal Blanco (Spa) Burgos-BH
16. Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
17. Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
18. Ryan Gibbons (RSA) UAE Team Emirates
19. Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
20. Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
21. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
22. Lilian Calmejane (Fra) AG2R Citroën
23. Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo
24. Alexander Krieger (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix
25. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers.
Vuelta a España Overall After Stage 16:
1. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux in 64:06:47
2. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis at 0:54
3. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma at 1:36
4. Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar at 2:11
5. Miguel Angel López Moreno (Col) Movistar at 3:04
6. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious at 3:35
7. Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:21
8. Adam Yates (GB) INEOS Grenadiers at 4:34
9. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma at 4:59
10. Felix Großschartner (Aut) BORA-hansgrohe at 5:31
11. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech at 6:04
12. Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious 0:06:47
13. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux at 7:07
14. David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates at 7:11
15. Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo at 11:08
16. Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 14:46
17. Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis at 26:35
18. Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 28:21
19. Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates at 28:58
20. Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar at 33:50
21. Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën at 37:04
22. Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious at 38:47
23. Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma at 39:52
24. Steff Cras (Bel) Lotto Soudal at 41:42
25. Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech at 44:38.