Vuelta a España 2021 - Start List
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Hello there, and welcome along as we head into the second week of this Vuelta a España. We're kicking it off with a run along Spain's southern coast, between the regions of Almería and Málaga. The terrain is largely flat, but for a nasty little climb inside the last 20km, which should make this a reduced group sprint or a breakaway day.
We're just a few minutes away from the roll-out, and the riders are all gathered on the start line. However, we have a mammoth neutral zone today, so we won't be racing for at least another half an hour.
We've hot suns and blue skies for most of this Vuelta, and today we're heading towards Spain's 'costa del sol', but it's a grey and windy day today...
👀 💨 #LaVuelta21 pic.twitter.com/W5aEclLXv2August 24, 2021
The riders are on the move and heading through this long 15km neutral zone
No better place to start than with Barry Ryan's scene-setter for week 2
pic.twitter.com/ktOe1LExBJAugust 24, 2021
Today's stage is all about the late cat-2 climb of the Puerto del Almáchar. It's down in the roadbook as 10.9km at 4.9% but that actually includes a couple of flat kilometres just after the steep start. The final few kilometres, by contrast, are consistently in the double digits.
The final climb is too hard for the sprinters and not hard enough for the GC riders, so this could well be a big breakaway day. Either way, especially with the wind making things tense, we could see a frantic start as that fight for the break does take place.
Today's stage will certainly interest someone like Michael Matthews, and we grabbed a word with him at the start...
"I see two different scenarios - either a big breakaway goes to the line and the GC teams let it go, or the GC teams fight for stage win. There are still a fair few teams who haven't won a stage here and it's a good stage for a lot of teams actually. Maybe the climb is a bit too hard for me but I'll give it a good go.
"There are a fair few people in the peloton who wouldn't mind an easier day today and they'd probably rather I was in the breakaway, so yeah, we'll wait and see. I think it has to be more than 10 guys in the break otherwise it's going to be a really hard day and peloton can bring it back. It has to be a big breakaway.
"The climb is almost 5km of steep, and 10km total, so it's longer than the climb the other day. If guys have a decent gap over top - like 30 seconds - I don't think it's possible to catch them. The descent is too technical tech and too fast, so it'll be really hard to bring them back, especially in a small group where you're working out who will chase."
The riders are still behind the director's car waiting to get underway.
Before we get going, a reminder of the GC standings after 9 stages
1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 34:18:53
2 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 00:00:28
3 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team 00:01:21
4 Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious 00:01:42
5 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 00:01:52
6 Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 00:02:07
7 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 00:02:39
8 Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma 00:02:40
9 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:03:25
10 David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates 00:03:55
And we're off!
Finally, after almost 45 minutes of neutralised riding, stage 10 is waved underway
A expected, it's a rapid start, with nothing able to go clear yet.
The peloton is in one long line, riding at 52kph so far.
We've already done 15km and still nothing has gone close to going clear. There are attacks left right and centre, but the whole peloton is going full whack at the moment.
Patrick Gamper (Bora-Hansgrohe) has accelerated and opened a slight bit of daylight...
Gamper is brought back, and now Florian Senechal (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) are on the move.
The pair have 10 seconds in hand but attacks are coming from behind.
Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious) jumps across to make it three but the margins are still slim.
Robert Stannard (Team BikeExchange) tries and fails to get across.
This trio are finding a little bit of space. They move out to 20 seconds now.
35km on the clock already.
Here's Astana's Omar Fraile predicting this sort of thing this morning
"If this wind blows we will reach the finish line faster. The truth is that there are strong winds both from the side and from behind and that will make the start very fast and it will be harder for the break to go."
EF Education Nippo, Burgos-BH and Euskaltel-Euskadi are at the front of the bunch, not letting this three-man move get away.
Back to square one. Senechal, Meeus, and Tratnik are brought back, and it's all together again.
Primoz Roglic has said he's 'not frightened' by Movistar's and Ineos' strength in numbers, but did recognise he has 'no margin for error'.
The peloton is still all together and barrelling along these coastal roads.
We've already done 50km and we've not quite hit the hour mark yet. FAST.
We've now got a group of eight riders on the move.
That one didn't go anywhere. Back together.
More rest-day thoughts, and this time it's Egan Bernal, who has won the Giro and Tour but lost a little hope of the treble on Sunday.
Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck-QuickStep) tries an attack but is quickly brought to heel.
The Italian is actually a solid shout for the stage win today. He was third on the steep finish on the Alto de Cullera last week.
And now Richard Carapaz (Ineops Grenadiers) attacks!
The peloton splits in two!
Carapaz is caught but he's now part of a front peloton, with a second bunch at 15 seconds.
Six riders attack from the front peloton.
More try and jump across and before you know it it's back together.
There is still a group of riders distanced from this main peloton. Green jersey Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) is among them.
114km to go
The second group is slipping back. It's at 48 seconds now. We're awaiting confirmation of the full list of riders in there.
More attacks now and we have a group of 12 going clear of the front peloton.
None of the GC contenders have been caught out in that split. They're all present and correct up front.
This breakaway attempt has swelled to more than 30 riders, so it's close to a mini peloton itself.
The group of 30 has opened up a decent lead of around 40 seconds - that's the biggest gap we've seen so far.
We'll get a full list of riders in there shortly but we can see the likes of Schachmann, Storer, Vansevenant, Narvaez, Aranburu....
This looks increasingly like our break of the day. They now have two minutes on the first peloton, which has eased and should soon be caught by that dropped group with Jakobsen.
Here's the composition of the breakaway
AG2R Citroen: Bouchard, Calmejane, Champoussin
Team DSM: Arensmann, Storer, Tusveld
EF Nippo: Camargo, Craddock, Keukeleire
Ineos Grenadiers: Van Baarle, Narvaez
Astana-Premier Tech: Aranburu, Sanchez
Bora-Hansgrohe: Benedetti, Schachmann
UAE Team Emirates: Oliveira, Trentin
Cofidis: Martin, Jesus Herrada
BikeExchange: Howson, Schultz
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA: Lastra, Amezqueta
Deceuninck-Quick Step: Vansevenant
Lotto Soudal: Vermeersch
Groupama-FDJ: Le Gac
Alpecin-Fenix: De Tier
97km to go
The break now have more than three minutes, as just 10 seconds separate the first peloton and the dropped group.
The gap continues to grow and it will soon become unchaseable, especially given the size of this break. The teams who are not represented are: Bahrain, Qhubeka, Movistar, Israel, Burgos-BH, and Jumbo-Visma.
Diego Camargo has been dropped from the break after a puncture, but EF-Nippo still have three up there as Magnus Cort wasn't counted by race radio first time around. Likewise Andrea Bagioli, who joins Deceuninck-QuickStep teammate Mauri Vansevenant in what's a really strong duo for this finale.
90km to go
After around 100km of flat-out racing, the race has finally settled down somewhat. The two pelotons have stitched back together so we have a breakaway of 32 riders with a lead of five minutes over that main bunch.
The best-placed riders from a GC perspective in this breakaway are Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), who started the day 19th at 9:10, and Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), 20th at 9:39.
Here's Jhonatan Narvaez helping to spark this big breakaway today. He has Dylan van Baarle in there for company.
Jumbo-Visma are controlling the peloton, stabilising the gap now at 5:45. The teams who missed this break have resigned themselves to missing out today.
80km to go
Into the final couple of hours and this large breakaway is working at the moment to establish their advantage. However, the size of this group makes it unwieldy one, and it's only a matter of time before riders start to worry about other riders sitting on. The late climb is the major focal point, but don't be surprised if this gets trimmed down well in advance, especially with the weaker climbers looking to steal a march and with the teams with multiple riders looking to use their numerical advantage.
73km to go
The gap reaches seven minutes. It's clear our winner will be coming from this big breakaway.
Marianne Vos has won the opening stage of the Simac Tour
65km to go
The gap now exceeds the 8-minute mark.
Guillaume Martin will be starting to get excited. He made up for lost time via breakaways on numerous occasions in this year's Tour de France, eventually finishing 8th overall. He started today 9:39 down and is up into the top 5 as it virtually stands right now.
59km to go
Feed zone time. After plenty of light undulations all day, the terrain gets a little flatter now as we head towards the intermediate sprint in Torre del Mar with 39km to go.
55km to go now and the gap rises to 9 minutes.
The gap passes the 9:10 mark on its way to 9:30, and that means Odd Christian Eiking is the virtual leader of the Vuelta a España.
The pace has eased a little in the past hour but we're still well ahead of schedule with an average speed so far of 46.6kph.
The gap is ever rising, and it has gone past 10 minutes and is on its way to 11. Jumbo-Visma don't look too bothered, but other teams could soon become concerned by the presence of Martin and Eiking up front.
I don't want to throw him under the bus without too much evidence but I haven't seen Narvaez further up this breakaway than third from last. He has Van Baarle to shoulder some of the responsibility but he looks to be saving himself for this final climb, and he won't be alone.
The break are coming towards the intermediate sprint, which also carries bonus seconds for the first three (3-2-1).
39km to go
Attacks! Trentin accelerates
Aranburu goes with the Italian
Herrada and De Tier drag their way across to make it four.
The gap had reached 12:20 when Trentin called an end to the alliance.
This is where this big promising margin for Martin and Eiking is jeopardised. Can the riders behind mount a coordinated chase? If not, they could soon lose ground on the bunch.
DSM have taken responsibility for the chase. They are one of the teams with three riders back there.
Trentin took maximum points at the intermediate sprint, just as he was starting his attack.
The four leaders have been pegged at 10 seconds.
30km to go
Into the final 30 and it looks like this first attempt to split the break hasn't worked. Either way, the gap to the peloton has stabilised at 12:30, meaning Eiking is the virtual leader of the Vuelta, with Martin at half a minute, and Roglic more than three minutes down.
We're only a few kilometres from the start of the climb now!
It starts out with a steep ramp but soon flattens out for a couple of kilometres. The climb totals 10.9km but really gets serious with the double digit gradients of the final few kilometres.
The front four press on and find some more ground. They have 20 seconds now.
The leading quartet hit the Puerto de Almachar with a lead of 25 seconds over the rest of the breakaway.
Storer launches an attack from the chase.
Craddock and Bagioli have gone with Storer.
They make it across to make it seven out front but the gap is slim to the rest of the break, which is starting to lose a few numbers - Arensman and Benedetti.
De Tier attacks to try and re-split that front group.
It's super tight as the rest of the break reforms and attacks ping off the front.
We're on that flatter section now and the real differences will be made on the steeper slopes.
Oliveira is the next to accelerate off the front.
Oliveira gets a solid gap as Elissonde, Howson, and Calmejane appear in a chase.
Back in the main breakaway group EF are trying to control on the flatter section.
Elissonde is now alone in pursuit of Oliveira.
Elissonde is at eight seconds, with EF leading the rest of the break at 21 seconds. The peloton is 13 minutes back still.
Into the final 4km of the climb and this is where it gets serious.
The break will surely explode here.
Elissonde catches and passes Oliveira. He's much lighter and better suited to these gradients.
The QuickStep duo of Bagioli and Vansevenant are looking good as they lead the chase.
Schachmann is slipping back. It doesn't look like his day today.
Champoussin is chasing down Elissonde with the QuickStep pair in his wheel.
Champoussin catches Elissonde and continues to set a strong pace.
The Australian has already won a stage at this Vuelta and he gets a gap at the head of affairs.
Action in the peloton! Movistar have taken over from Jumbo-Visma.
Storer has a decent gap here. Champoussin is the next on the road with a small gap over Vansevenant.
Eiking and Martin are keeping a close eye in each other in the next group on the road.
2.5km to the top for Storer and he's looking really strong here.
Mikel Landa has been dropped from the peloton. He has already declared his GC chances over.
Champoussin has moved well clear of the rest of the chasers.
Bouchard accelerates behind.
Narvaez has been dropped but Van Baarle is still in the mix for Ineos.
Bagioli has been dropped as Vansevenant slots into that chase group.
In the chase group are: Eiking, Martin, Vansevenant, Van Baarle, Elissonde, Bouchard, Schultz.
That group is already 40 seconds behind Storer!
Martin accelerates! Eiking immediately on the wheel. He needs to mark him for the red jersey, having started with a 29-second advantage.
Van Baarle dropped by that acceleration.
Storer is into the final kilometre of the climb and has a great chance of a second stage win here.
Champoussin is still between Storer and the chase group. He's 22 seconds down on the leader.
Van Baarle claws his way back on.
16km to go
Storer leads the race over the top of the Puerto de Almachar.
Champoussin follows at 14 seconds. The seven-man chase group is next at 35 seconds. Still all to play for.
Michael Matthews said it'd be hard to catch a lone leader on this descent, which is fast and technical. He predicted a rider with 30 seconds would be pretty much impossible to catch...
The last 3km are flat but otherwise it's all downhill.
Ineos take it up in the bunch, through Carapaz.
Wow. Attack looks like the best form of defence for the red jersey
They're on the steep section now and Roglic has flown clear.
Bernal finds himself on the front but can't do much to limit the damage
Mas takes up the chase. Roglic's teammate Kuss is marking it.
Five riders chasing down Roglic now, with a gap over the rest.
Lopez, Mas, Kuss, Haig, and Bernal are the five riders who are 10 seconds behind Roglic.
Bernal dropped from that group!
Bernal is on his way back to the next group, which contains Yates.
At the front of the race, Storer is still looking good for this. He has 40 seconds in hand as Champoussin fades back into the chase. 10.5km to go for Storer.
Roglic rips out of the saddle. This is a huge play from the race leader, who didn't need to attack on a day like this, but is going for it anyway.
Roglic is now 20 seconds clear of Mas, Lopez, Haig, Kuss.
30 seconds now for Roglic!
Roglic's gap dips back down to 20 seconds. The timings are fluctuating a bit at the moment.
Eiking, Champoussin, and Vansevenant have clipped off in a chase group up towards the front of the race.
Kuss dropped by Mas, Lopez, and Haig!
Roglic hits the top of the climb!
Lopez, Mas, and Haig follow at 20 seconds.
Up front, Storer is into the final 5km and on his way to victory.
Storer has 25 seconds over Eiking, Vansevenant, and Champoussin.
Roglic is going full gas downhill!
Mas is less comfortable and is drifting off the back as Lopez leads the chase of Roglic.
He was taking risks and he has come undone
The race leader slides out on a right-hand bend and falls into the gravel.
He's back up quickly, and gets the chain back on quickly, but his gap has been wiped out.
Roglic could live to regret his act of aggression today. Fascinating scenes!
Van Baarle has made it onto the back of the chase group in the break as Storer enters the final km with 20 seconds.
Roglic is caught by the Mas, Lopez, Haig group and they're now descending as a quartet.
Storer comes into the home straight. He has enough left to finish this off.
Storer raises his arm and crosses the line. Stage win number 2 in the bag for the young Australian, who is truly coming of age.
Michael Storer (Team DSM) wins stage 10 of the Vuelta a España
Vansevenant sprints to second place from the chase group. Close between Van Baarle and Champoussin for third. Eiking is fifth but should be in red.
Narvaez is next home in a group with Martin, Schultz, Bouchard, Calmejane.
Roglic looks ok here but a damage assessment will have to wait for beyond the finish line.
We're without time gaps at the moment, so we don't know how far the Ineos duo are in arrears. They're the ones suffering the real damage so far.
35 seconds! Bernal and Yates are losing 35 seconds as it stands to Roglic, Mas, Lopez, and Haig.
Kuss has been caught on the descent by Vlasov and Grossschartner, and they're all making their way across to the Roglic group.
That trio makes it to the red jersey to make it a group of seven.
Kuss goes through to the front to set the pace as they head into the final few kilometres.
The chase group consists of Bernal Yates, Mader, Poels, Meintjes, Aru, De La Cruz, Majka.
The red jersey group comes into the home straight.
Roglic, Mas, Lopez all pushing on in the final 500m
They cross the line and now we wait for the gap to Bernal, Yates et al.
37 seconds is the damage.
That's a pretty big gap for a stage that didn't look too decisive on paper. A really bad day for Ineos.
The Roglic group finished 11:30 down on the Eiking group, so the Norwegian is indeed in the red jersey as the new leader of the Vuelta.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Michael Storer (Aus) Team DSM||4:09:21|
|2||Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep||0:00:22|
|3||Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team|
|4||Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers|
|5||Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|6||Jhonatan Narvaez Prado (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers||0:00:51|
|7||Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchange|
|8||Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team|
|9||Lilian Calmejane (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team|
|10||Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo|
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux||38:37:46|
|2||Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis||0:00:58|
|3||Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma||0:02:17|
|4||Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team||0:02:45|
|5||Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team||0:03:38|
|6||Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious||0:03:59|
|7||Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers||0:04:46|
|8||Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma||0:04:57|
|9||Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers||0:05:01|
|10||Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:05:42|
Here's our report page, where you can also find results and photos.
Let's hear from the stage winner
"It's even more unbelievable than the last time. It was a massive fight for the break. It was one of those epic days where it takes... I think we did 80km before it went, so I was happy to get in there.
"I was feeling good on the last climb, and I knew exactly what I needed to do to win today; I needed to attack. I just did it off how I felt, and how I thought my competitors felt. I just felt the moment then went and hoped for the best.
"I didn't have exact time gaps but I knew I had to go fast down the descent, even though there are dry and slippy roads in this region. I was happy with my descent - it was just enough to hold on.
"I dreamt of one stage win at this Vuelta and now I have two after 10 day days. It's really unbelievable."
And now we can hear an initial reaction from Roglic.
"Without the crash it would have been better, but it's not too bad. There was some action huh.
"Why not? No risk no glory. It was good."
As for his injuries: "I'm not too bad. I just mostly slid, so I should be fine hopefully."
Here's our full story on the Roglic incident
Here is the new overall leader of the Vuelta
Eiking is a puncheur who perhaps hasn't quite fulfilled his potential over the years. He had his problems at FDJ but has shown glimpses since he joined Wanty in 2018 and has been in good form of late, finishing 7th at Clásica San Sebastián and runner-up at the Arctic Race.
It's also another slice of success for his team, who were having a subdued first season at WorldTour level, with a rather shambolic Tour de France. At the Vuelta they've turned things around, with Eiking their second rider to don the red jersey after Rein Taaramae, who was victorious on stage 3. Their season is looking better and better.
While Eiking may not survive the true mountain stages, the presence of Guillaume Martin in second overall is interesting. He finished eighth at the Tour (having employed a similar tactic of recouping time through breakaways), so he has the climbing and Grand Tour GC pedigree to now be able to think about a high overall finish once again. He's bound to lose some time in the mountain stages but has a near-five-minute buffer to 10th place now, so will be hopeful of limiting his losses.
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