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Vuelta a España 2021

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Primoz Roglic wins the 2021 Vuelta a España

Vuelta a España stage 21 - As it happened

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) won his third consecutive overall title at the 2021 Vuelta a España after winning the stage 21 time trial at Santiago de Compostela. He secured the overall title by 4:42 ahead of Enric Mas (Movistar) and 7:40 ahead of Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious).

Roglič, once again, proved his strength in the individual time trial, storming passed his closest rival, Enric Mas (Movistar), who started the event two minutes ahead. Roglič even went as far as to sprint passed Mas on the final up hill toward the finish line to take the stage win and to seal his overall victory at the Vuelta a España.

The stage 21 time trial was 33.8km and although it was fairly straight forward it was not completely void of challenges. There was a gradual climb during the first half that peaked at around the 15km mark. The route then headed downhill with some winding and technical sections followed by an undulating profile to the finish line at Santiago de Compostela.

Roglič covered the course in a winning time of 44:02 to beat runner-up Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) by 14 seconds and third placed Thymen Arensman (Team DSM) by 52 seconds.

The special honours went to Roglič as the winner of the overall classification. The Slovenian opened his account at the three-week race by winning the stage 1 time trial to take the first leader's jersey in Burgos.

He lost the race lead after stage 3 to Rein Taaramae (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) in Picón Blanco, and the jersey then moved onto the shoulders of Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) at the end of stage 5 in Albacete.

Roglič took the red jersey back after finishing second on stage 6 on Alto de la Montaña de Cullera and held it through the next three mountain stages. 

He then crashed on the final descent of stage 10 and the red jersey went to Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) in Rincón de la Victoria, who would keep the jersey for the next week of racing.

Roglič took the overall race lead back with a stellar performance on stage 17 to Lagos de Covadonga and he maintained his lead through the final time trial on stage 21 at Santiago de Compostela.

Stage 21 - Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 0:44:02
2Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo 0:00:14
3Thymen Arensman (Ned) Team DSM 0:00:52
4Josef Cerny (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:01:16
5Chad Haga (USA) Team DSM 0:01:43
6Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:01:49
7Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:01:52
8Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
9Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:04
10Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 0:02:06

Final general classification after stage 21
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 83:55:29
2Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:04:42
3Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious 0:07:40
4Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:09:06
5Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious 0:11:33
6Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:13:27
7David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates 0:18:33
8Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma 0:18:55
9Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 0:20:27
10Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:22:22

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Stage 18

Stage 17

Stage 16

Stage 15

Stage 14

Stage 13

Stage 12

Stage 11

Stage 10

Stage 9

Stage 8

Stage 7

Stage 6

Stage 5

Stage 4

Stage 3

Stage 2

Stage 1

Previews

The route

After the shortened 2020 edition, which was only 18 stages because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Vuelta a España returns to full strength for 2021 with plenty of mountains, searing heat, potential crosswinds and, new for this year, a return to the a lengthy individual time trial to close out the race.

The race is bookended by a 7km opening time trial in Burgos, concluding with a 31km time trial in Santiago de Compostela three weeks later. In the intervening 19 days, riders will take on a mammoth seven summit finishes with more mountain stages and hilltop finishes, as well a possible six sprint stages.

The steep slopes of Picón Blanco (7.6km at 9.3 per cent) on stage 3 will provide an early GC test following the sprinter's stage 2, though the following two days will give further chances to the fastmen.

Stage 6, to the Alto de la Montaña de Cullera, will provoke more time gaps on the 1.9km wall finish. The next day, the Balcón de Alicante (8.4km at 6.2 per cent) features several kilometres of double-digit gradients as the second summit finish of the race.

A sprint stage to La Manga del Mar Menor, before another tough mountain stage in south-east Spain sees the peloton take on the first-category Alto Collado Venta Luisa and the Alto de Velefique (13.2km at 6.4 per cent). A welcome rest day in Almería follows.

On stage 10, a hilly finish to Rincón de la Victoria could give GC men a chance to ambush late on, with a hilltop finish at Valdepeñas de Jaén – last visited in 2013 – following the next day.

Stage 12 is another hilly day to Cordoba before the sprinters get a pan-flat day on the next stage. Stage 14 sees a return to the mountains and another summit finish at the Pico Villuercas (14.5km at 6.2 per cent) while stage 15 to El Barraco brings another mountain test, though no summit finish ahead of rest day number two.

Stage 16 is another for the sprinters before a brutal visit to the Lagos de Covadonga (12.5km at 6.9 per cent) the following day and a debut for the terrifying Altu d’El Gamoniteiru (14.6km at 8.9 per cent) on stage 18. Two hilly stage follow, including an uphill finish Mos. Castro de Herville on stage 20 before the final hilly time trial to decide the fate of the red jersey.

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The contenders

MADRID SPAIN NOVEMBER 08 Podium Richard Carapaz of Ecuador and Team INEOS Grenadiers Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Team Jumbo Visma Red Leader Jersey Hugh Carthy of The United Kingdom and Team EF Pro Cycling Celebration Trophy Mask Covid safety measures Madrid Town Hall Plaza Cibeles Madrid City during the 75th Tour of Spain 2020 Stage 18 a 1396km stage from Hipdromo de la Zarzuela to Madrid lavuelta LaVuelta20 La Vuelta on November 08 2020 in Madrid Spain Photo by David RamosGetty Images

Richard Carapaz, Primoz Roglic and Hugh Carthy on the final podium of the 2020 Vuelta (Image credit: David Ramos/Getty Images)

Defending champion Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) is back to fight for a third Vuelta title in a row. However, he'll face stiff competition from Giro d'Italia winner Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) and recent Vuelta a Burgos winner Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), among others, in the fight for the red jersey.

Roglič will have Jumbo-Visma teammates Sepp Kuss and Steven Kruijswijk beside him in the three-week battle while Bernal will be accompanied by 2020 Vuelta runner-up Richard Carapaz, Adam Yates, Tom Pidcock, and Pavel Sivakov.

Movistar look to have the next-strongest squad. The Spanish team will be led by the triumvirate of Miguel Angel López, Enric Mas and veteran Alejandro Valverde. Landa can rely on Damiano Caruso and Mark Padun at Bahrain Victorious.

Last year's podium finisher Hugh Carthy leads EF Education-Nippo, while Aleksandr Vlasov is back at the head of Astana-Premier Tech.

Elsewhere, watch out for Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Romain Bardet (Team DSM), Felix Großschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe), Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), and the retiring Fabio Aru (Qhubeka NextHash).

Vuelta a España most successful riders

  • Delio Rodríguez has won the most Vuelta a España stages with 39 in the 1940s
  • Alejandro Valverde is the most successful active rider with 13 stage wins and one overall victory (2009)
  • Alex Zülle has the most days in the leader's jersey with 48
  • Roberto Heras has the most overall wins with four, one of which he won back in court after being disqualified for doping
  • Vuelta a España 2021 past winners

Vuelta a España 2021 teams

  • AG2R Citroën Team
  • Alpecin-Fenix*
  • Astana-Premier Tech
  • Bahrain Victorious
  • Bora-Hansgrohe
  • Burgos-BH*
  • Caja Rural-Seguros RGA*
  • Cofidis
  • Deceuninck-QuickStep
  • EF Education-Nippo
  • Euskaltel - Euskadi
  • Groupama - FDJ
  • Ineos Grenadiers
  • Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
  • Israel Start-up Nation
  • Lotto Soudal
  • Movistar Team
  • Team BikeExchange
  • Team Jumbo-Visma
  • Qhubeka NextHash
  • Trek-Segafredo
  • UAE-Team Emirates

* Wildcard

Stages

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