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Vuelta a España stage 3 - Live coverage

Profile stage 3 of 2021 Vuelta a España

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Vuelta a España: Jasper Philipsen sprints to stage 2 victory

Vuelta a España hits high mountains with a vengeance at Picón Blanco - Preview

Stage 3 result

1 Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 5:16:57

2 Joe Dombrowski (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:0:21

3 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo 0:0:36

4 Lilian Calmejane (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:01:16

5 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:45

6 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:48

7 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma

8 Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers

9 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious

10 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo

General classification after stage 3

1 Rein Taaramäe (Est) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 9:25:44

2 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo 0:0:25

3 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 0:0:30

4 Lilian Calmejane (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:0:35

5 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:0:45

6 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team 0:0:51

7 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:0:57

8 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo

9 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers

10 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:09


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the third stage of the 2021 Vuelta a España. Today we'll see the peloton tackle the first of many uphill finishes of this race as they take on the summit finish of Picón Blanco in the northern reaches of Castilla y Leon.

The stage should be the first major GC sortout following the opening day time trial. Who has their climbing legs so early on in the race?

Check out our stage preview here

It's not the hardest day of the race for the most part, with the stage gradually sloping downwards from the start in Santo Domingo de Silos.

But there's a real sting in the tail at the finish, a 7.6-kilometre climb with an average gradient of 9.3 per cent....

Vuelta 2021 stage 3 Picon Blanco

(Image credit: ASO/Unipublic)

Riders are set to head off from the start in 20 minutes.

Here's what two-time Vuelta runner-up Fernando Escartín has to say about today's finish, according to the official race website...

"The first high-altitude finale, both demanding and unprecedented, will take place in the third stage of La Vuelta 21. Generally flat route, with a finale on the Picón Blanco, a tough mountain pass, with slopes of up to 17% that may mark the first differences among the favourites."

The likes of Egan Bernal, Mikel Landa, and.. well, every general classification contender will be looking to take time on red jersey Primož Roglič today if possible. Here's a look at who lost time in the opening time trial.

BURGOS SPAIN AUGUST 15 LR Primoz Roglic of Slovenia and Team Jumbo Visma red leader jersey and Richard Carapaz of Ecuador and Team INEOS Grenadiers winner of Olympic road race prepare for the race prior to the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 2 a 1667km stage from Caleruega Monasterio de Santo Domingo de Guzmn to Burgos Gamonal lavuelta LaVuelta21 CapitalMundialdelCiclismo on August 15 2021 in Burgos Spain Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Away from the Vuelta there has been news that Astana will continue in 2022 despite Premier Tech leaving their sponsorship role. Alexandre Vinokourov is also returning to the team after being forced out before the Tour de France.

Astana says set to continue in 2022, Vinokurov to return

Six minutes until the riders roll out. They'll take on a 3.6-kilometre neutral zone before leaving Santo Domingo de Silos today.

A reminder of the top of the GC heading into today's stage

General classification after stage 2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 4:07:29
2Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:04
3Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:00:10
4Josef Cerny (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStep
5Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:11
6Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:12
7Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:14
8Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:15
9Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
10Chad Haga (USA) Team DSM 0:00:17

The peloton are riding through the neutral zone at the moment.

See more

There was a small crash in the peloton in the neutral zone, so the real start has been slighlty delayed.

Now the riders have passed the real start and the pace is high. Nobody is able to jump away yet.

192km to go / 10km done

Ryan Gibbons (UAE Team Emirates) is on the move but the peloton are right behind him.

It's all back together now. Antonio Jesus Soto (Euskaltel-Euskadi) tried to join Gibbons out front before they were caught.

Another group has clipped off the front now.

186km to go / 17km done

Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) is out there along with Tobias Bayer (Alpecin-Fenix), Julen Amezqueta (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Antonio Jesus Soto (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert).

The group has 30 seconds at present.

It looks like that's our break of the day. They've been joined out front by Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroën), Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH) and Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) and have 1:20 on the peloton.

180km to go / 23km done

Three minutes between break and peloton at the moment.

Jumbo-Visma are controlling the peloton at the moment on behalf of race leader Primož Roglič.

The riders are coming towards the first climb of the day, the third-category Puerto del Manquillo (7.2km at 4.3 per cent). They're 10km from the top.

171km to go / 31km done

Three minutes between break and peloton.

The breakaway start the first climb of the day, the third-category Puerto del Manquillo, now.

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FOUGERES FRANCE JUNE 29 Mark Cavendish of The United Kingdom and Team Deceuninck QuickStep stage winner celebrates at arrival during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 4 a 1504km stage from Redon to Fougres LeTour TDF2021 on June 29 2021 in Fougeres France Photo by Guillaume Horcajuelo PoolGetty Images

(Image credit: Guillaume Horcajuelo/Getty Images)

The peloton have slowed down on the climb. They are 3:40 behind the break now.

Elissonde takes three points over the top of the climb ahead of Bayer and Soto. Five minutes back to the peloton.

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VALLE SPLUGA ALPE MOTTA ITALY MAY 29 Simon Pellaud of Switzerland and Team Androni Giocattoli Sidermec in breakaway during the 104th Giro dItalia 2021 Stage 20 a 164km stage from Verbania to Valle Spluga Alpe Motta 1727m Public Fans Switzerland CHE UCIworldtour girodiitalia Giro on May 29 2021 in Valle Spluga Alpe Motta Italy Photo by Tim de WaeleGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Bayer stops with a mechanical problem but he's quickly back up and running and back with the breakaway.

A look at the break of the day.

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135km to go / 68km done

The gap between break and peloton is still at around the five-minute mark. No change in situation at the moment as they tackle the rolling roads after climb. 

It's largely downhill and flat from this point on. There's a third-category climb at 20km to go and then it's Picón Blanco, the final test of the day.

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Close up of the new Orbea aero bike spotted at la Vuelta

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Here's what race leader Primož Roglič had to say about today's stage. Keeping the red jersey is his priority today.

"It’s super hard. We’ll definitely give our best with the guys. The red jersey is our main goal today and we’ll see how the stage goes."

121km to go / 82km done

An average speed of 40kph so far and the breakaway has reached their maximum advantage so far – they're 5:55 up on the peloton at the moment.

It's still Jumbo-Visma at the head of the peloton, unsurprisingly. Ineos Grenadiers are lined out behind.

Find out how to watch the 2021 Vuelta a España with our handy and easy guide.

The riders are edging towards the mid-point of the stage and the break's advantage hits the six-minute mark.

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(Image credit: Linda Guerrette)

The Vuelta a España ends its opening trio of stages in the province of Burgos with its first major test of the GC favourites today, on the brutally difficult summit finish slopes of Picón Blanco.

The 7.6-kilometre ascent with a fearsomely high average gradient of 9.3 per cent has appeared regularly in the Vuelta a Burgos but it is unprecedented in the Vuelta a España. 

Given its toughness, though, it’s fair to assume many of the contenders here would have preferred that the Grand Tour organisers had given Picón Blanco a miss this year, too.

To read Alasdair Fotheringham's full special preview of the stage, click below.   

Vuelta a España hits high mountains with a vengeance at Picón Blanco - Preview (opens in new tab)

Tour of Denmark 2021 31st Edition 5th stage Frederiksberg Frederiksberg 108 km 14082021 Remco Evenepoel BEL Deceuninck QuickStep Mads Pedersen DEN Trek Segafredo Mike Teunissen NED Jumbo Visma photo Thomas SjorupCVBettiniPhoto2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

96km to go

The break has pushed its lead out to 7:30 now. They continue to work together across the barren roads, with Jumbo-Visma leading the peloton and perhaps hoping other teams will soon pick-up the chase. 

A constant headwind is also a factor in the steady racing.  

If Jumbo-Visma do not pick-up the chase, then someone from the break could win the stage and take the leader's jersey. 

Take your pick between Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates), Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroën), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Rein Taaramäe (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Tobias Bayer (Alpecin-Fenix), Julen Amezqueta (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Antonio Jesus Soto (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH).

Dombrowski and Elissonde obviously stand out in the break. 

Robert Gesink is leading for Jumbo but no other teams seem keen to come through ands help him. 

This is the break of the day as they work to stay away.

The break of stage 3 at the Vuelta a Espana

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

The riders are on a more exposed road now and the wind is blowing.  

This could get very interesting very soon. 

80km to go

The break's lead is up to 8:40. 

Jumbo continue to ride on the front, now with five riders on the front as the cross winds could be a factor. 

Jumbo-Visma have Roglic in the leader's jersey and Sepp Kuss in the blue polka-dot mountains competition jersey.  

Jumbo-Visma on the podium before stage 3 of the Vuelta a Espana

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Race leader Primož Roglič ahead of the stage.

Vuelta a Espana race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Sepp Kuss spoke briefly to Eurosport before the start about today's stage. 

"It's a hard climb, it's steep, with a lot of different sections and it's exposed to the wind, so that will make it interesting too," he said of the Pico Blanco climb.

"We'll see what happens. If we can keep the jersey easily, then great, but there are a lot riders who are motivated to go in the break. 

"The jersey is important for us but it costs a lot of energy to control every day but it's better to be in front that behind. 

"We're both in a good place in the GC, so we don;'t have to do much, it depends on the other teams."  

Here's Kuss when he won his stage at the Tour de France. 

ANDORRELAVIEILLE ANDORRA JULY 11 Sepp Kuss of The United States and Team JumboVisma stage winner celebrates at arrival during the 108th Tour de France 2021 Stage 15 a 1913km stage from Cret to AndorrelaVieille LeTour TDF2021 on July 11 2021 in AndorrelaVieille Andorra Photo by Chris GraythenGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images)

68km to go / 135km done

The gap to the break is now nine minutes. 

Soto, who lies 34th at 0:29, is well in the virtual race lead at this point.

Here's what Olympic champion Richard Carapaz said about the finish today...

"t’s a special day, we want to do our best and be up there. It’s not only about winning time, but also not losing. It will be an explosive day and many will try because some riders lost time in the crash or the time-trial.

"Picon Blanco will be hard, it’s 8km with high gradients and the last km are really steep and exposed so we’ll see what happens."

A list of the GC time gaps to Roglič in the break. On a flat finish Soto might be favourite for red should the break stay away, but while being a good climber himself (he was in the top 10 on the hilltop finish at the recent Arctic Race of Norway), it looks a tough ask to hold off the likes of Elissonde today.

  • Soto +0:29
  • Bayer +0:33
  • Calmejane +0:38
  • Elissonde +1:11
  • Amezqueta +1:19
  • Taaramäe +1:28
  • Bol +1:37
  • Dombrowski +3:28

The gap is coming down a bit now. It's 8:40 as the break hits the 50km to go mark.

Bahrain Victorious, Ineos Grenadiers and EF Education-Nippo are all up at the front of the peloton along with Jumbo-Visma.

45km to go

8:15 between break and peloton now.

Jumbo-Visma continue to control the peloton. They'll be happy to cede the red jersey today given we're still so far from the end of the race. It has been up to the other teams to bring back the break and force the Dutch team to keep working in the coming days, though nobody has yet tried to do that.

Meanwhile the break are still working well together 8:35 up the road.

40km to go

Just two men from Jumbo-Visma on the front, followed by a line of Bahrain men.

The break battles over the intermediate sprint at Medina de Pomar. Amezqueta leads the way ahead of Calmejane.

35km to go

8:45 between break and peloton after the sprint. Less than 15km to go until the third-category climb.

Jumbo-Visma remain in control on the front. The stage win is certain to be decided among the breakaway riders now as their advantage edges back up to almost nine minutes.

Enric Mas (Movistar) suffers a puncture in the peloton but there's a long way to go so he'll be fine.

Mas is back with the peloton as the break closes in on the Puerto de Bocos.

25km to go

The break's advantage is down to eight minutes now.

It's really speeding up at the front now with a variety of teams leading the way.

The break are on the third-cat Puerto de Bocos now. It's 2.8km long at an average of 6.3 per cent.

6:40 back to the peloton.

Dombrowski leads the way in the break.

20km to go

A battle for the top of the climb in the break and Bayer leads the way ahead of Soto and Calmejane.

The gap is five minutes after the break crests the top of that climb.

15km to go

The break still together as they race towards the final climb of the day, Picón Blanco.

They have 4:15 on the peloton now.

7km to go until they start the climb.

A small crash in the peloton sees James Piccoli (ISN) among four riders caught out.

12km to go

No change at the front. Four minutes is the gap.

Astana, Qhubeka and Ineos are at the front of the peloton.

10km to go

Calmejane is out front in the break. He has 13 seconds on the rest of the riders.

8km to go

Calmejane leads the race onto the climb. He's 15 seconds up on the break and four minutes up on the peloton.

Vuelta 2021 stage 3 Picon Blanco

(Image credit: ASO/Unipublic)

Reminder that the red jersey is up for grabs today.

Soto and Bol are at the back on the early slopes.

Ineos, QuickStep and Movistar are up front in the peloton as they hit the climb.

7km to go

Calmejane is almost caught. Soto back with the chasers as Bol lags a few seconds back.

Taaramäe leads the way up front.

Jumbo and Bahrain are also up near the front in the peloton.

Soto, Bol and Bayer drop from the break.

6km to go

The peloton is still quite large here. Nobody is really pushing the pace hard yet.

Elissonde, Calmejane, Taaramäe, Amezqueta, Dombrowski at the head of the race.

Now Bahrain take it up in the peloton, 3:40 back.

Elissonde ups the pace but there's no separation among the lead quintet.

Around 40 men remain in the peloton.

Calmejane pushes on. Elissonde and the rest jump across.

5km to go

Now Dombrowski leads the way at the front. Amezqueta is dropped.

Calmejane struggles on the 15 per cent slope.

Taaramäe and Elissonde are with Dombrowski.

4km to go

Calmejane and Amezqueta won't come back.

Elissonde in pole position for red here. A reminder of the lead trio's GC gaps.

  • Elissonde +1:11
  • Taaramäe +1:28
  • Dombrowski +3:28

Taaramäe on the front, Elissonde on the back of the trio. The Frenchman needs to keep in touch with the Estonian if he's to take red.

Dombrowski will be totally focused on the win as he's already out of virtual red. 2:40 to the peloton.

However, if attacks in the peloton start soon then it's unlikely anyone in the break will take red.

Bahrain still working at the front en masse.

Dombrowski is back on the front. Elissonde is losing touch a little. Now Taaramäe pushes on.

3km to go

UAE Team Emirates now up front in the peloton.

KOM leader Kuss and white jersey Bagioli are dropped from the peloton.

Taaramäe attacks at the front and Elissonde loses touch.

Ten years ago, the Estonian won a Vuelta stage at Lagos de Somiendo. Could he repeat here?

2.5km to go

2:25 to the peloton and still no moves.

UAE's David de la Cruz put in a move but he isn't getting anywhere.

Adam Yates rides across to De la Cruz and the Bahrain-led peloton follows.

2km to go

Landa can't follow his teammates wheel at the front. Still no big attacks.

We haven't seen what's going on in front for a while...

Taaramäe is alone now, 1.5km from the finish. He's riding to a stage win and the red jersey here.

There is a headwind on the climb, which may explain why nobody is trying any moves.

1km to go

And now there is a move – from Burgos-BH's Oscar Cabedo.

He's brought back and Adam Yates make a move.

Taaramäe into the final kilometre.

Yates is back in the peloton. No more moves. Carapaz is off the back by 20 seconds.

Victory for Taaramäe is all but certain now. 500 to go.

Valverde and Yates lead the peloton.

Rein Taaramäe wins stage 3. of the Vuelta a España!

5:16:57 of racing over and done with and the Estonian wins it. He needs 1:28 to take red too.

Dombrowski and Elissonde trail in second and third.

Valverde leads the peloton in the final kilometre.

Enric Mas and Miguel Angel Lopez lead the peloton home at over 1:50 down. Taaramäe is in red!

It looks like Vlasov and Carthy have lost time. Carapaz too.

Carapaz is almost 2:50 down.

Mas gained three seconds at the finish. Lopez, Roglič, Bernal, Landa, Yates, Valverde, Ciccone were in the main group. Aru a few seconds behind.

Carthy lost 21 seconds. Bardet and Vlasov lost 29 seconds.

Taaramäe is in red by 25 seconds ahead of Elissonde. Roglič is third at 30 seconds. Bernal (in ninth at 57 seconds) is the last man within a minute of the race lead.

Here's what Taaramäe had to say after the stage...

"Actually yes because I have quite good state and I have very smart sporting director in Valerio Piva. Yesterday evening we spoke that we'd try to win the stage and take the leader's jersey.

"I believed myself today because like I said I'm in a good state. Today was all about whether the peloton would catch us or not. When I saw that we would do it then I had questions about how good were Joe Dombrowski and Kenny Elissonde. They are all good riders but Joe and Kenny are really good so I don't know if I can beat them, but I believed it because I already did it many times. When I won a stage of the Giro, Joe was in third up there with me and now we were fighting again each other. So I believed in myself very much today.

"[Red is] big because I'm 34 years old and I don't have many years left to try to do this. I have a stage in the Vuelta and Giro but I dream a lot about a leader's jersey in a Grand Tour – at least for some days to enjoy and feel how it's going to be. Today I did it and I'm very, very happy."

ESPINOSA DE LOS MONTEROS SPAIN AUGUST 16 Rein Taaramae of Estonia and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux celebrates winning during the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 3 a 2028km stage from Santo Domingo de Silos to Espinosa de los Monteros Picn Blanco 1485m lavuelta LaVuelta21 CapitalMundialdelCiclismo on August 16 2021 in Espinosa de los Monteros Spain Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Vuelta a España: Rein Taaramäe wins summit finish on stage 3

GC riders battle on Picón Blanco as Carapaz and Carthy lose time

We'll have more reaction from the stage winner, Ineos, Movistar, Roglič, and Carthy throughout this evening.

Adam Yates looked among the strongest men on the climb. He said that it was hard to make any gaps in the headwind on the way up.

"I was really disappointed after yesterday losing time in a silly crash and today I tried – I really wanted to do something. I tried one or two times but it was a block headwind up here so no matter what you did you weren't going very far.

"I wouldn't say it was comfortable. In the end I've trained well and prepared well. I really struggled after the Olympics with the jetlag and stuff so it took me a week or two to get back into the routine. And then here we are, so I hope it continues.

"Like I said from the beginning we've got cards to play. I lost some time yesterday but I'm still in the game. We'll keep plugging away and hopefully we can do something."

Vuelta a España: Which GC riders lost time on stage 3 summit finish

Roglic cedes red jersey as Carapaz, Carthy, Vlasov and Bardet lose time

ESPINOSA DE LOS MONTEROS SPAIN AUGUST 16 LR Nathan Van Hooydonck of Belgium Primoz Roglic of Slovenia red leader jersey and Steven Kruijswijk of Netherlands and Team Jumbo Visma compete during the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 3 a 2028km stage from Santo Domingo de Silos to Espinosa de los Monteros Picn Blanco 1485m lavuelta LaVuelta21 CapitalMundialdelCiclismo on August 16 2021 in Espinosa de los Monteros Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

(Image credit: Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

A shot of Taaramäe celebrating his stage win and red jersey on the podium.

ESPINOSA DE LOS MONTEROS SPAIN AUGUST 16 Rein Taarame of Estonia and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux celebrates winning the red leader jersey on the podium ceremony after the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 3 a 2028km stage from Santo Domingo de Silos to Espinosa de los Monteros Picn Blanco 1485m lavuelta LaVuelta21 CapitalMundialdelCiclismo on August 16 2021 in Espinosa de los Monteros Spain Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

That's all for our live coverage of today's stage. Be sure to keep checking back as the news comes in from the Vuelta throughout the evening, though. And we'll be back tomorrow with more full live coverage from stage 4!

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