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Vuelta a España stage 16 - Live coverage


The Vuelta a España resumes after the second rest day with a stage that ought to suit the fast men, even if there are few ripples along the 180km road from Laredo to Santa Cruz de Bezana. The roll-out is at 12.49 local time, with the peloton due to hit kilometre zero at 13.00.

Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) continues to lead this Vuelta a España, and the Norwegian should have another day playing Pascal Lino to Primož Roglič's Miguel Indurain tomorrow. He has 54 seconds in hand on Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and 1:36 on Roglič, the favourite for overall victory.

General classification after stage 15

Roglič and Jumbo-Visma have been glad to spend a week out of the maillot rojo, though he was careful to point out that both Eiking and Martin are full value for their current positions on general classification. “The thing is, they’ve showed some really good efforts,” Roglič told Alasdair Fotheringham yesterday. “Especially on Sunday, Eiking’s whole team was super good and he definitely deserves to still have the jersey. Now, as the days go on, we will see what the outcome will be. But to be in the positions we are in now, everybody has to do some good rides and everyone deserves it.” Read Alasdair's full rest day interview with Roglič here.

The peloton is making its way through the neutralised zone en route to kilometre zero. The temperature is a pleasant 23°C on the Cantabrian coast. 


There's a very brisk start to proceedings with an early flurry of attacks, but no move has gained traction just yet. 


The peloton has split as a result of that crash. Meanwhile, four riders have succeeded in forging clear off the front. Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) has been joined by Dimitri Claeys (Qhubeka-NextHash), Stan Dewulf (AG2R-Citroen) and Mikel Bizkarra (Euskaltel-Euskadi).


Stan Dewulf (AG2R-Citroën), Mikel Bizkarra (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Dimitri Claeys (Qhubeka NextHash) and Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) have a lead of 1:14 over the peloton, while Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH) is trying to bridge across alone to the break.

Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) went down in the crash but the Italian is back on his bike and still in the race. The Abruzzese lies 12th overall at 6:16.




Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) was among the fallers in the earlier crash, and the Frenchman has been receiving treatment from the medical car at the rear of the peloton.

Enric Mas is safely back in the bunch after his earlier scare. The Mallorcan has looked the man most likely to challenge Roglič's pre-eminence thus far, and he lies just 35 seconds behind the favourite, although he struck a sobering note during Movistar's rest day press conference, noting that he had "no feeling at all that Roglič is going to be on the decline in the third week." He added: "I wouldn’t say he’s going to get better, though, either. But he’s one of the best riders in the world and I think he’s in a very good place, not tired at all." Alasdair Fotheringham has more here.



Deceuninck-QuickStep have also begun to take a controlling interest at the head of the peloton with a view to setting up a bunch sprint for Fabio Jakobsen. The green jersey is chasing a third stage win on this Vuelta and another haul of points to cement his lead in that classification. 

Earlier crashes - and possible late frissons - notwithstanding, there is an air of the calm before the storm about today's stage, which precedes back-to-back summit finishes in Asturias that could define this Vuelta. The well-worn track up Lagos de Covadonga on Wedneday is followed by a new finale atop the Altu d'El Gamoniteiru.


Away from the Vuelta a España, Deceuninck-QuickStep have announced that Esports world champion Jason Osborne will join the team as a stagiaire for the remainder of the season. The 27-year-old from Mainz, Germany, recently won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the lightweight double sculls but was always keen to develop his professional road racing career after the Olympics. Stephen Farrand has the full story here.


Egan Bernal (Ineos) lies 7th overall, 4:21 down on Eiking and 2:45 down on Roglič as the third week gets underway. The Colombian has been, by his own admission, short of his best on this Vuelta, even if there were perhaps faint signs of improvement as the second week drew on. He was circumspect about his and Adam Yates' prospects during Monday's rest day. "We’re feeling ok, so we still have some possibilities if we have the legs for the next week. I think anything can happen for sure," Bernal said. “If we have the legs and if we feel good, we would like to try something. We will see. But as I always say, first you need to have the legs to do something.” Read the full story here.







Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) has abandoned the Vuelta after he went down in the crash early in the stage. The Italian received treatment from the medical car as he returned to the bunch but his injuries have now forced him out of the race. Ciccone would surely have expected to move into the top 10 overall in the final week, but, for the second time this season, a Grand Tour that promised much is ended prematurely by a crash.


The Lotto Soudal duo of Harm Vanhoucke and Maxim Van Gils attack from the bunch on the climb in a bid to forge across to the escapees. 

Van Gils swings off and now Vanhoucke tries to bridge across alone to the escapees on the climb. The Belgian is onlu 26 seconds behind the break, which is approaching the summit.




Vanhoucke is sticking grimly to his task, and he is closing to within 10 seconds of the escapees. The tension has defused slightly in the peloton after that brief fizzle of pyrotechnics on the climb, and the red jersey group is now back at 1:20. 


A reminder of the names in the break: Stan Dewulf (AG2R-Citroën), Mikel Bizkarra (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Dimitri Claeys (Qhubeka NextHash), Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo), Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH) and Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal).

Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ) becomes the second rider to abandon today due to injuries sustained in that crash in the opening kilometres. 


Sep Vanmarcke (Israel Start-Up Nation) has also abandoned the Vuelta as a result of the injuries he sustained in the early crash.



UAE have managed to split the bunch on this climb, and Fabio Jakobsen has been caught on the wrong side of it... The gap is manageable for the time being and he has teammtes around him, but UAE are showing no signs of relenting.  


The Jakobsen group is losing ground on the main peloton. The Dutchman has 30 seconds to recoup, but he does have strongmen around him, including Zdenek Stybar, Florian Sénéchal and James Knox.


For now, the primary focus is on whether Jakobsen can make it back on for an eventual bunch sprint, but this high speed, stretched-out peloton also poses the threat of further splits and gaps among the GC contenders...








The bunch is climbing from Puente San Miguel towards the bonus sprint at Santillana del Mar. UAE will surely try to use this terrain to put Jakobsen's climbing to the test once more...










DSM, Groupama-FDJ, Alpecin-Fenix and Deceuninck-QuickStep are all contributing at the head of the bunch. Although the break is still collaborating well, it is difficult to see how Simmons, Vanhoucke et al can fend off the seemingly inevitable bunch finish.






Claeys and Dewulf make it across to Bol. This trio has 11 seconds on the peloton, with Simmons, Bizkarra and Vanhoucke caught in no man's land in between.











Fabio Jakobsen is safely tucked in near the head of the bunch. Michael Matthews and Matteo Trentin are also well placed.


A group from EF move up on behalf of Magnus Cort, but QuickStep still lead with 1500m to go.


Florian Senechal opns a small gap inadvertently butthen swings over... Then Alpecin-Fenix take over...

Jakobsen sits in third wheel off the final bend...

Jakobsen hits the front... Matteo Trentin follows but he won't come past him...

Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) wins stage 16 of the Vuelta a España.

Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) led out the sprint, but Jakobsen timed his effort well to come around and take the win. Meeus held off Trentin for second place.

Michael Matthews took fourth ahead of Alberto Dainese (DSM).


Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) finishes safely in the peloton to retain the red jersey.

General classification after stage 16

Team Deceunincks Dutch rider Fabio Jakobsen C celebrates as he wins the 16th stage of the 2021 La Vuelta cycling tour of Spain a 180 km race from Laredo to Santa Cruz de Bezana on August 31 2021 Photo by MIGUEL RIOPA AFP Photo by MIGUEL RIOPAAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Fabio Jakobsen, who celebrated turning 25 with his third win on this Vuelta, which buttresses his lead in the points classification: "A birthday is always a good day, but I’m over the moon with this win. I think what we saw today is the wolfpack. I was dropped on the climb, the guys waited for me, they brought me back and I won the race. The only thing I can do is win a short, fast sprint – they did everything else today."

Maillot rojo Odd Christian Eiking was asked if this was his easiest day as race leader to date: "In one way, maybe yes, but in another it was hard to restart after the rest day. But in the end, there were no really big difficulties I had to face. I felt pretty ok, but maybe a little bit sleepy from sleeping all day yesterday. I think Lagos De Covadonga is going to be really decisive in GC and it will be really hard racing from the start tomorrow. It will be really fun to race it."

SANTA CRUZ DE BEZANA SPAIN AUGUST 31 Fabio Jakobsen of Netherlands and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Green Points Jersey celebrates at finish line as stage winner ahead of Matteo Trentin of Italy and UAE Team Emirates L during the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 16 a 180km stage from Laredo to Santa Cruz de Bezana lavuelta LaVuelta21 on August 31 2021 in Santa Cruz de Bezana Spain Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Egan Bernal retains the white jersey of best young rider: “ I would like [to attack Roglic]. I have nothing to lose, I don't care to be fifth or tenth in the overall, but you need to have legs. In the Giro I was attacking from afar even as the leader, which shouldn't be done, but I felt strong and I like to ride like that. Let's see how I feel, if I feel good I'll move. We have a very strong team. Yates is also very well, I see him very strong, the problem is that we have lost two riders."

SANTA CRUZ DE BEZANA SPAIN AUGUST 31 Fabio Jakobsen of Netherlands and Team Deceuninck QuickStep celebrates at podium as stage winner during the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 16 a 180km stage from Laredo to Santa Cruz de Bezana lavuelta LaVuelta21 on August 31 2021 in Santa Cruz de Bezana Spain Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

A full report, results and pictures from today's stage are available here.

SANTA CRUZ DE BEZANA SPAIN AUGUST 31 Odd Christian Eiking of Norway and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux celebrates winning the red leader jersey on the podium ceremony after the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 16 a 180km stage from Laredo to Santa Cruz de Bezana lavuelta LaVuelta21 on August 31 2021 in Santa Cruz de Bezana Spain Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

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