Vuelta a España: Cort takes his third stage win in Monforte de Lemos

Magnus Cort captured his and EF Education-Nippo's third victory of the Vuelta a España on stage 19, proving the fastest rider from the breakaway as the seven men left standing held off the charging peloton in Monforte de Lemos.

The Dane outpaced Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates) and Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) in the final dash for the line after almost four and half hours of racing. The breakaway crossed the line 18 seconds ahead of the peloton after a furious chase on the run-in to the line.

The remains of the escape had held a lead of just 30 seconds for the final 25 kilometres of the 191.2-kilometre stage after what was left of an initial 24-man move had been splintered further by an attack from Oliveira and Simmons.

A fast-paced pursuit with BikeExchange and DSM at the head followed although the two teams couldn't make any headway into the breakaway's small lead on the flat run to the finish. The leaders worked together until deep into the final kilometre when Cort's teammate Lawson Craddock put in a huge final turn to lead out the sprint.

At 200 metres to go, Simmons was the first to blink, launching from his compatriot's wheel as Cort and Oliveira reacted quickly to follow. Cort jumped out into the wind 50 metres later, and, as the quickest sprinter from the group, there was no doubt about his eventual victory as he won by a bike length.

"It's amazing. It's a dream and I really hope I don't wake up," Cort said after the stage. "It was not before the last five or six kilometres when I started believing actually. They always kept us close, and it was a really hard day.

"We didn't always work perfect together at the front; we had a few attacks and reduced the size of the group and in the end, everybody had tired legs and it was hard to work together in this hilly terrain but somehow we managed to hang onto it. I have to thank my teammate Lawson Craddock for doing a very amazing job, I could not have done this victory without having him with me in the breakaway today."

Cort has demonstrated amazing versatility in the Vuelta, winning with a solo attack on stage 6 on the Alto de la Montaña de Cullera where he held off Primoz Roglic, a bunch sprint win on stage 12 in Cordoba and now a small group sprint in Monforte de Lemos.

"I think the first [win] was the most spectacular one. It was amazing to win on top of a small - I'll call it a mountain, I come from Denmark and we don't have hills that big, it was almost a small mountain for me. That was a really special victory. Now having three in the same race – that's unbelievable."

Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) led the peloton home, sprinting to eighth place at 18 seconds behind Cort, who celebrated his fifth win of 2021 and the seventh Grand Tour stage win of his career.

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) retains the overall race lead with two stages left to run before the conclusion in Santiago de Compostela. He leads Enric Mas (Movistar) by 2:30 after a quiet day for all but one of the GC top 10. Louis Meinjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) wasn't so lucky, though, the South African crashing out of the 10th place 43 kilometres from the finish.

The other jerseys stayed with the same riders they had started the stage with, as Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) kept hold of the green points jersey, Michael Storer (Team DSM) retained the polka dots of the mountain classification leader, and Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) continued in white as the best young rider.

How it unfolded

With three days left in the 2021 Vuelta a España, stage 19 of the race would provide a likely final chance either for the sprinters or the breakaway as the riders tackled a 191.2-kilometre stage from Tapia to Monforte de Lemos in Galicia, north-west Spain.

The stage was a hilly one, with three categorised climbs – the third-category Alto de Sela d'Entorcisa, and the second-category Alto da Garganta and Alto de Barbeitos – coming in the opening 60 kilometres. Further uncategorised challenges lay throughout the rolling roads of the remaining 130 kilometres, though nothing to put off punchy sprinters.

The opening kilometres of the stage saw multiple riders jump off the front of the peloton to make what turned out to be the break of the day. Mikael Cherel (AG2R Citroën) and Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious) were among those kicking off the move, which soon swelled to over 20 riders as more and more men made their move on the Sela d'Entorcisa and Garganta.

With the pace still high on those early climbs, the large group whittled themselves down as more riders attempted to make it across. By the top of the Garganta, after 35 kilometres of racing,

Cherel and Padun had been joined by 17 others, with Nico Denz (Team DSM), Antonio Jesus Soto (Euskaltel Euskadi), Damien Touzé (AG2R-Citroën Team), Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix), Pelayo Sanchez (Burgos-BH), Julen Amezqueta, Oier Lazkano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Lawson Craddock, Magnus Cort (EF Education Nippo), Anthony Roux (Groupama-FDJ), Andreas Kron (Lotto Soudal), Robert Stannard (Team BikeEchange), Fabio Aru (Qhubeka NextHash), Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo), Rui Oliveira and Jan Polanc (UAE Team Emirates) all getting out front.

With Team BikeExchange working on the front of the peloton behind, the break had made it up to two minutes in front by the time they reached the Alto de Barbeitos. Any hopes of a fourth stage win for green jersey Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) were already over, though, with the Dutchman dropping on the climbs and falling to over five minutes back.

Cort, Aru and Cherel had taken the points over the classified climbs, though none of the men were in any position to disrupt the DSM hegemony at the top of the mountain classification as Michael Storer and Romain Bardet continued in the top two spots.

The rolling roads continued after the Barbeitos, and a small group attempted to go clear at the front, though they had no luck in getting away at just over 100 kilometres to go. Meanwhile, BikeExchange were joined by DSM in control of the peloton, the two teams looking to bring it all back for a reduced sprint finish later on.

At the 50-kilometres to go mark, several riders – including Aru on the third-last race day of his career – were dropped from the break after attacks by Simmons and Oliveira. BikeExchange continued at the front, closing to within a minute and making the race look certain to conclude with a bunch sprint.

At 43 to go, Louis Meintjes (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) was among several riders to fall victim to a crash in the peloton, the South African sadly forced out of the race from tenth place overall. Ion Izagirre (Astana-Premier Tech) was caught up in a separate crash shortly afterwards but was able to get back up and continue.

Simmons, having already tried an attack to whittle down the breakaway, went again at 35 kilometres to go, bringing Oliveira with him and totally splintering the group. The duo hit the day's intermediate sprint along 16 seconds up on Cort, Bagioli, Craddock, Roux and Kron, though the quintet made it across soon after.

The seven men had a slender lead of just half a minute as they hit the 20-kilometres to go mark, and with BikeExchange not making much headway into the gap, it looked as though it might be a triumph for the break on the largely downhill run to the finish.

However, at 16 kilometres out, DSM moved to the front to join the Australian squad to work for their fast man Alberto Dainese as BikeExchange continued on behalf of Michael Matthews. The two teams managed to slice 10 seconds off the break's advantage, but they looked to be struggling to close it fully.

Inside the final 10 kilometres, the gap was back up to 30 seconds as the seven men up front continued to work well together in pursuit of a potential victory. Five kilometres later, the gap still hadn't changed, leaving the breakaway all but certain to contest the win in the final kilometres.

Craddock drove the break towards the line on behalf of teammate Craddock, and it was only with 200 metres to go that the breakaway riders struck out for the win. Despite Simmons' best efforts to take off early and sprint a surprise, though, Cort – the favourite in a dash to the line – prevailed as expected to win his sixth career Vuelta stage.

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Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo 4:24:54
2Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates
3Quinn Simmons (USA) Trek-Segafredo
4Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
5Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
6Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal
7Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo 0:00:05
8Alberto Dainese (Ita) Team DSM 0:00:18
9Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
10Alexander Krieger (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix
11Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
12Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis
13Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange
14Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
15Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
16Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
17Carlos Canal Blanco (Spa) Burgos-BH
18Clement Venturini (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
19Jetse Bol (Ned) Burgos-BH
20Xabier Mikel Azparren Irurzun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
21Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
22Steff Cras (Bel) Lotto Soudal
23Jan Tratnik (Slo) Bahrain Victorious
24Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
25Aritz Bagües Kalparsoro (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
26Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal
27Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team
28Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
29Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
30Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma
31Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team
32Nathan Van Hooydonck (Bel) Jumbo-Visma
33Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious
34José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
35Yuriy Natarov (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
36Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
37Ryan Gibbons (RSA) UAE Team Emirates
38Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team
39Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
40Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
41Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
42Sam Oomen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
43Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
44Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
45Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis
46Wesley Kreder (Ned) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
47Connor Brown (NZl) Qhubeka NextHash
48David de la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
49Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
50Floris De Tier (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
51Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
52Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
53Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
54Oscar Cabedo Carda (Spa) Burgos-BH
55Lilian Calmejane (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
56Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
57Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
58Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
59Fernando Barceló Aragon (Spa) Cofidis
60Simone Petilli (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
61Ben Zwiehoff (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
62Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
63Mikel Iturria Segurola (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
64Anton Palzer (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
65Julen Amezqueta Moreno (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
66Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
67Geoffrey Bouchard (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
68Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix
69Pelayo Sanchez Mayo (Spa) Burgos-BH
70Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Burgos-BH
71Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Ineos Grenadiers
72Joe Dombrowski (USA) UAE Team Emirates
73Koen Bouwman (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
74Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
75Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal
76Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Burgos-BH
77Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious
78Jefferson Cepeda Ortiz (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
79Mikaël Cherel (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
80Nico Denz (Ger) Team DSM
81Robert Gesink (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
82Nicolas Prodhomme (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
83Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
84Eddy Fine (Fra) Cofidis
85Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
86Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos Grenadiers
87Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Qhubeka NextHash 0:00:39
88Jens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Education-Nippo 0:00:41
89Stan Dewulf (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team 0:00:46
90Ander Okamika Bengoetxea (Spa) Burgos-BH 0:01:04
91Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team DSM 0:01:19
92Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:21
93Rafal Majka (Pol) UAE Team Emirates
94Tom Scully (NZl) EF Education-Nippo
95Luka Mezgec (Slo) Team BikeExchange
96Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis
97Jan Hirt (Cze) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
98Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:25
99Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ
100Robert Stannard (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:01:42
101Damien Touze (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:01:46
102Antonio Jesus Soto Guirao (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:01:57
103Joan Bou Company (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
104Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:59
105Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Team BikeExchange
106Dylan Sunderland (Aus) Qhubeka NextHash
107Alvaro Cuadros Morata (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:02:03
108Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain Victorious
109Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:07
110James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-QuickStep
111Fabio Aru (Ita) Qhubeka NextHash 0:02:30
112Diego Camargo Pineda (Col) EF Education-Nippo
113Antonio Nibali (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
114Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Team BikeExchange
115Thymen Arensman (Ned) Team DSM 0:04:02
116Chad Haga (USA) Team DSM
117Michael Storer (Aus) Team DSM
118Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:04:31
119Damien Howson (Aus) Team BikeExchange
120Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM 0:05:59
121Christopher Hamilton (Aus) Team DSM 0:10:56
122Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Team BikeExchange
123Riccardo Minali (Ita) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:26:26
124Edward Planckaert (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
125Jon Aberasturi Izaga (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
126James Piccoli (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
127Oier Lazkano Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
128Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Qhubeka NextHash
129Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Groupama-FDJ
130Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal
131Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe
132Scott Thwaites (GBr) Alpecin-Fenix
133Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
134Martin Laas (Est) Bora-Hansgrohe
135Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
136Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
137Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStep
138Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
139Patrick Gamper (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
140Bert Van Lerberghe (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
141Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
142Josef Cerny (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStep
143Jordi Meeus (Bel) Bora-Hansgrohe
144Sebastian Berwick (Aus) Israel Start-up Nation
145Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNFSacha Modolo (Ita) Alpecin-Fenix
DNFLouis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
DNFSergio Henao Montoya (Col) Qhubeka NextHash
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Sprint 1 - Oural, km. 163.6
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Quinn Simmons (USA) Trek-Segafredo 20
2Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates 17
3Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo 15
4Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 13
5Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal 10
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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo 30
2Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates 25
3Quinn Simmons (USA) Trek-Segafredo 22
4Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 19
5Anthony Roux (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 17
6Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal 15
7Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo 13
8Alberto Dainese (Ita) Team DSM 11
9Matteo Trentin (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 9
10Alexander Krieger (Ger) Alpecin-Fenix 7
11Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 6
12Piet Allegaert (Bel) Cofidis 5
13Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 4
14Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 3
15Alex Kirsch (Lux) Trek-Segafredo 2
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Mountain 1 (Cat. 3) Alto de Sela de Entorcisa, km. 21.9
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo 3
2Fabio Aru (Ita) Qhubeka NextHash 2
3Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo 1
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Mountain 2 (Cat. 2) Alto da Garganta km. 34.5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Fabio Aru (Ita) Qhubeka NextHash 5
2Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 3
3Jay Vine (Aus) Alpecin-Fenix 1
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Mountain 3 (Cat. 2) Alto de Barbeitos km. 60.9
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mikaël Cherel (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 5
2Quinn Simmons (USA) Trek-Segafredo 3
3Antonio Jesus Soto Guirao (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 1
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Young riders
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Rui Oliveira (Por) UAE Team Emirates 4:24:54
2Quinn Simmons (USA) Trek-Segafredo
3Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep
4Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal
5Alberto Dainese (Ita) Team DSM 0:00:18
6Gotzon Martin Sanz (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
7Carlos Canal Blanco (Spa) Burgos-BH
8Xabier Mikel Azparren Irurzun (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
9Thomas Pidcock (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
10Steff Cras (Bel) Lotto Soudal
11Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers
12Maxim Van Gils (Bel) Lotto Soudal
13Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious
14Yuriy Natarov (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
15Rémy Rochas (Fra) Cofidis
16Connor Brown (NZl) Qhubeka NextHash
17Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
18Clément Champoussin (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
19Fernando Barceló Aragon (Spa) Cofidis
20Pelayo Sanchez Mayo (Spa) Burgos-BH
21Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal
22Jefferson Cepeda Ortiz (Ecu) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
23Nicolas Prodhomme (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
24Eddy Fine (Fra) Cofidis
25Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Ineos Grenadiers
26Stan Dewulf (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team 0:00:46
27Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:25
28Robert Stannard (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:01:42
29Damien Touze (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:01:46
30Joan Bou Company (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:01:57
31Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:59
32Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Team BikeExchange
33Dylan Sunderland (Aus) Qhubeka NextHash
34Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:07
35Diego Camargo Pineda (Col) EF Education-Nippo 0:02:30
36Thymen Arensman (Ned) Team DSM 0:04:02
37Michael Storer (Aus) Team DSM
38Oier Lazkano Lopez (Spa) Caja Rural-Seguros RGA 0:26:26
39Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal
40Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech
41Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
42Patrick Gamper (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
43Jordi Meeus (Bel) Bora-Hansgrohe
44Sebastian Berwick (Aus) Israel Start-up Nation
45Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck-QuickStep
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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Andreas Kron (Den) Lotto Soudal
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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1UAE Team Emirates 13:15:18
2Lotto Soudal
5EF Education-Nippo 0:00:10
6Euskaltel-Euskadi 0:00:18
7Bahrain Victorious
9Movistar Team
10Ineos Grenadiers
13AG2R Citroën Team
15Astana-Premier Tech
17Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
18Caja Rural-Seguros RGA
19Team DSM 0:01:19
20Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:01:49
21Qhubeka NextHash 0:02:20
22Team BikeExchange 0:02:45
23Israel Start-up Nation 1:18:42
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General classification after stage 19
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 77:49:37
2Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:30
3Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:53
4Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious 0:04:36
5Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:04:43
6Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:05:44
7Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma 0:06:02
8Gino Mäder (Swi) Bahrain Victorious 0:07:48
9Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 0:08:31