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Vuelta a España stage 6 - Live coverage

Profile stage 6 of 2021 Vuelta a España

(Image credit: Unipublic)

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Vuelta a España: Jasper Philipsen wins crash-marred stage 5

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1 Magnus Cort (Den) EF Education-Nippo 3:30:53

2 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma

3 Andrea Bagioli (Ita) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:00:02

4 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:04

5 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team

6 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:00:06

7 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:08

8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team

9 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:09

10 Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:16

General classification after stage 6

1 Primoz Roglic (Slo) Jumbo-Visma 21:04:49

2 Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:25

3 Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:36

4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:41

5 Egan Bernal Gomez (Col) Ineos Grenadiers

6 Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:53

7 Giulio Ciccone (Ita) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:58

8 Lilian Calmejane (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:01:04

9 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain Victorious 0:01:12

10 Fabio Aru (Ita) Qhubeka NextHash 0:01:17


Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the sixth stage of the Vuelta a España, another day for the climbers and puncheurs in Cullera in eastern Spain.

Today's stage will kick off in Requena in just over 45 minutes' time.

After a mostly downhill start to the stage, the large part of the day will be on pan flat roads heading south from Valencia down the Balearic coast.

The finish is a totally different test, though, with a 1.9-kilometre, 9.4 per cent hill to the Cullera Castle to conclude the action. We could see another change in the standings at the head of the race and a new red jersey later this afternoon.

Here's the map of today's stage.

Stage 6 map of 2021 Vuelta a España

(Image credit: Unipublic)
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The riders are currently signing on at the start ahead of 158.3 kilometres of racing.

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Roglic, Bernal, Carapaz, Carthy, López and more set to do battle in Spain

The riders will set off in 10 minutes to begin the neutral zone at the start of today's stage.

A look back on yesterday's stage, which saw Alpecin-Fenix's Jasper Philipsen take his second win of the race.

Vuelta a España: Jasper Philipsen wins crash-marred stage 5

Vuelta Espana 2021 - 76th Edition - 2nd stage Caleruega - Burgos 166,7 km - 15/08/2021 - Jasper Philipsen (BEL - Alpecin-Fenix) - photo Miwa Iijima/CV/BettiniPhoto©2021

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Rein Taaramäe may have lost the red jersey to Kenny Elissonde yesterday but he's still in the polka dot jersey as the KOM leader. Philipsen is in green as points leader while Egan Bernal is in white as best young rider.

182 riders in the peloton are heading towards kilometre zero now.

The flag has dropped and the racing has begun. Attacks from the start today.

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150km to go / 8km done

Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH) tries to get away.

Bol is brought back. All together at the moment.

Robert Stannard (Team BikeExchange) and James Piccoli (Israel Start-Up Nation) tried to make a move but were brought back, too. Still no breakaway.

Here's what Romain Bardet had to say after crashing and losing 12 minutes yesterday...

"It could be worse. I’m more optimistic now than I was straight after the crash. I had so much pain in the knee but today I felt it was ok to start so I’m really glad to continue. It’s never good to crash but that’s just how it is. Hopefully I can recover in the next few days, make it to the first rest day and see if I can do something and hunt for stage wins."

138km to go / 20km done

Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH) and Dimitri Claeys (Qhubeka NextHash) are the latest riders to attack.

Sep Vanmarcke (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Max Schachmman (Bora-Hansgrohe) are also trying to make moves. Rubio and Claeys are still out front but not by much.

127km to go / 31km done

Everything is back together now. No breakaway established yet.

Now it's Florian Sénéchal's (Deceuninck-Quick Step) turn to try and get away.

A group of riders are chasing the Frenchman.

Sénéchal and the chasers are brought back after 39 kilometres of racing.

Now more attacks fly. Joan Bou (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Ryan Gibbons (UAE Team Emirates) are attempting to make a breakaway.

108km to go / 50km done

Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH), Magnus Cort (EF Education Nippo) and Bert Jan Lindeman (Qhubeka NextHash) are trying to move away too.

Finally it looks like we have a breakaway.

Bol, Cort, Bou, Lindeman and Gibbons have around 1:30 on the peloton at the moment.

Guy Niv (Israel Start-Up Nation) is trying to make it across to the break. Trek-Segafredo lead the peloton.

100km to go / 58km done

The gap has gone out quickly. 4:30 from break to peloton now as Niv lies 3:30 down.

5:40 for the break now. Niv is caught by the peloton.

Here's what red jersey Kenny Elissonde had to say before today's stage...

"It's both [a reward and a responsibility]. It’s a great honour to start in red today and with the team we will fight to try to keep it one more day. It’s not an easy day. Primož Roglič is only 5 seconds behind.

"So it’s gonna be tight but I will enjoy this special day. Ideally [a breakaway goes to the end] but even with this I need to keep Primož within that range so it’s gonna be a big fight even the break goes."

83km to go / 75km done

The gap between break and peloton is almost seven minutes now. BikeExchange are up front in the peloton along with Trek-Segafredo.

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(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

74km to go / 84km done

The gap has come down to just over five minutes now after an upping of the pace in the peloton.

An average speed of 45kph so far during the stage.

Here's a look at Bou and Bol going on the attack earlier.

ALTO DE LA MONTAA DE CULLERA SPAIN AUGUST 19 LR Jetse Bol of Netherlands and Team Burgos BH and Joan Bou Company of Spain and Team Euskaltel Euskadi attack during the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 6 a 1583km stage from Requena to Alto de la Montaa de Cullera 184m lavuelta LaVuelta21 on August 19 2021 in Alto de la Montaa de Cullera Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

In the past 20 minutes the peloton have sped along at 48.4kph with BikeExchange on the front, while the break have ridden at 43.7kph.

4:45 is the gap now as BikeExchange continue their work.

63km to go / 95km done

The gap is close to four minutes now as BikeExchange continue to push on.

If you think today's stage and finish looks familiar, it's because it is. On this finish last February, Tadej Pogačar outpaced Alejandro Valverde to win stage 2 of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana before going on to win the overall.

Time gaps back then weren't big, with Pogačar leading a group of nine home and 20 riders finishing within 20 seconds of him.

Read our report on that stage here

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) wins stage 2 of the 2020 Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana ahead of Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde

(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

50km to go / 108km done

Jetse Bol leads Cort and Gibbons over the intermediate sprint at Pinedo.

A crash in the peloton as an Alpecin-Fenix and BikeExchange rider collide at the side of the group. Nothing overly serious though.

Three minutes between the break and peloton as the riders head into the final 50km run to the finish. All flat here until they hit that final climb.

The peloton have knocked off the pace a little now. It's 3:10 with 42km to go. They're happy to not catch the break too early.

Trek, UAE, Ineos, Movistar, Jumbo and Bahrain are all up towards the front at the moment.

The riders are ploughing into a headwind here as they head down the coast.

Kenny Elissonde is riding in the red jersey for the first time today. He's only the fourth Frenchman to have led the Vuelta in the 21st century, after Sylvain Chavanel (for a day in 2008 and four in 2011) and Rudy Molard (four days in 2018). Nicolas Edet was the last French rider to wear red, for a day in 2019.

Elissonde is the 26th Frenchman to wear red at the Vuelta.

ALTO DE LA MONTAA DE CULLERA SPAIN AUGUST 19 LR Rein Taaramae of Estonia and Team Intermarch Wanty Gobert Matriaux Polka Dot Mountain Jersey and Kenny Elissonde of France and Team Trek Segafredo Red Leader Jersey prior to the 76th Tour of Spain 2021 Stage 6 a 1583km stage from Requena to Alto de la Montaa de Cullera 184m lavuelta LaVuelta21 on August 19 2021 in Alto de la Montaa de Cullera Spain Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo MorenoGetty Images

(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

33km to go / 125km done

The race has exploded at the front as Ineos, Jumbo-Visma and Movistar have pushed on at the front in the wind and the peloton has split up!

Alpecin-Fenix and Deceuninck-QuickStep are also up there. It looks like around 40 riders have made the split. The rest of the peloton is split up and lined out behind.

Jumbo-Visma now move to the front.

Elissonde and Adam Yates are in the second group.

Now Movistar mass on the front and the pace has slowed a bit.

UAE and Trek are among those chasing in the next group. It looks like Vlasov has missed out as well.

30km to go / 128km done

The second group is coming back now. Only around 5-10 seconds between them and the leaders.

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Small groups are clipping off the front of the chase group. Elissonde and a number of EF riders are still in there.

2:10 between the peloton and the break.

The riders have passed through the town of Cullera and are turning north again. Soon they'll circle back to the coast for the run back through and then up to the finish.

25km to go / 133km done

The five men out front are still working together well at the moment. They're just over two minutes up on the peloton.

Movistar continue to lead the peloton.

The second group – including Elissonde – is back with the Movistar-led first group now.

20km to go / 138km done

A bit of a lull in the action after that crosswind split. The riders are heading south through Cullera once again.

Movistar continue to pace the peloton.

Jumbo-Visma, Bahrain Victorious, Ineos Grenadiers all up front too.

EF's Hugh Carthy is right at the rear of the peloton. Not the place to be here.

Carthy and three teammates are now off the back of the peloton and fighting to get back on. It's unclear what the issue is.

Deceuninck-QuickStep take to the front of the peloton now. A minute between them and the break. Carthy's group is 25 seconds down...

10km to go / 148km done

The riders are back out of the town before coming back on to the final run along the beach to the final climb.

A crash off the back of the peloton as a Groupama-FDJ rider slides out. It was Tobias Ludvigsson.

Carthy's group has swelled but he's the big name in there and it's just his EF teammates doing the work to try and get back.

55kph average for the peloton in the last 10 minutes, compared to 48kph in the break.

Carthy's group is nearing the catch, but it's hard to imagine him keeping up on the climb if he's in trouble on these flat roads.

8km to go

Movistar are back on the front as Carthy's group makes it back.

The break lie a minute up the road currently.

7km to go

The break are still five men all together. No passengers at the moment.

6km to go

The gap is under a minute now. 50 seconds between the break and peloton.

Reminder that the final climb is 1.9km at 9.4 per cent. It's steeper at the start, too.

5km to go

No change in the situation. 50 seconds to the break.

4km to go

43 seconds now. Still the same five out front. Movistar and Ineos at the head of the peloton.

The gap is coming down as the peloton speeds towards that climb.

3km to go

Just over a kilometre to go to the start of the climb to the finish. 35 seconds to the break.

Ineos are massed on the front now. The peloton is lined out behind them.

2km to go

The breakaway riders hit the start of the climb! 25 seconds.

Bou pushes on straight away. Cort follows.

Ineos push hard at the bottom too.

Narvaez and Carapaz at the front.

Bernal in white is third wheel.

The break has split up. Bou is off the back now.

A split at the front of the peloton. The big names are up front.

1.5km to go

The breakaway is nearly caught. Cort pushes on.

Lindeman follows Cort.

Elissonde is dropped. He won't be in red tonight.

Cort and Lindeman still out front.

Roglic and Bernal lead the way behind.

1km to go

It's a pretty large GC group behind the two leaders.

Cort pushes on and drops Lindeman. 750m to go.

Matthews pushes on at the front of the main group.

500m to go

Cort is just a few seconds up.

Matthews attacks!

Vlasov chases him.

Can they catch Cort?

Roglič goes now!

150 metres to go and Cort is still out front!

Cort rounds the final corner and just about holds off Roglič to take the win!

Hard to tell who else was up there with that camera direction at the finish...

Cort and Roglič on the same time and it was Andrea Bagioli of Deceuninck-QuickStep in third at two seconds.

Vlasov and Mas were at four seconds, followed by Matthews at six seconds.

Bernal, Valverde and Lopez at eight seconds. Großschartner 10th at 16 seconds.

Small gaps among the top 10, then. Roglič, Bernal, Mas, Vlasov, Lopez all close together. Larger gaps to the rest of the GC hopefuls.

Roglič is back in red tonight.

Adam Yates shipped 25 seconds. 

Landa, Aru, Meintjes, Carapaz were at 27 seconds.

Carthy has finished further back.

Here's what Cort had to say after his fourth Vuelta stage victory...

"This one is special for me in a very different way. The stages I win are always in sprints and I'm very happy to show I can also do it in other terrains and finish off a breakaway like this today.

"I knew we still had a chance. It's hard to know how big the gap is because they go fast in the bunch before a climb like that to get position. I could see we had a little gap. For me it was about getting as quickly as possible to the top. I hoped that none of my breakaway companions could stay in the wheel and I'd keep the bunch behind me. It was very close and I'm very happy that I kept Roglič just behind.

"I looked back with 150 metres to go and I could see him coming. I sprinted with everything I had and I luckily could keep him behind me."

Vuelta a España: Magnus Cort hangs on to narrow win on stage 6

Primož Roglič finishes second and takes overall race lead on Alto de la Montaña de Cullera

Here's the winner shot.

EF Education Nippos Danish rider Magnus Cort Nielsen celebrates as he wins the 6th stage of the 2021 La Vuelta cycling tour of Spain a 1583 km race from Requena to Cullera on August 19 2021 Photo by JOSE JORDAN AFP Photo by JOSE JORDANAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)

Roglič now leads the GC by 25 seconds ahead of Mas, while López is third at 36 seconds.

Valverde makes it a 2-3-4 for Movistar at 41 seconds, while Bernal is on the same time in fifth. Vlasov and Ciccone are the only other men within a minute of the leader.

Carthy lost 2:50 today. He drops from 19th to 33rd overall.

A look back at that final kilometre.

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New race leader Primož Roglič on the stage and the red jersey...

"Magnus was just stronger and he had really good legs so definitely he deserved the win. For myself it was not so much about the win. It was first of all trying to stay safe out of trouble and then try to enjoy it.

"At the end I had good legs so I did a little sprint. We'll see who will be the strongest in Santiago eh? It's a long way until then but it's a start and we'll try to keep the focus and do our job the best."

Team Jumbos Slovenian rider Primoz Roglic celebrates on the podium wearing the overall leaders red jersey after the 6th stage of the 2021 La Vuelta cycling tour of Spain a 1583 km race from Requena to Cullera on August 19 2021 Photo by JOSE JORDAN AFP Photo by JOSE JORDANAFP via Getty Images

(Image credit: JOSE JORDAN/AFP via Getty Images)

We'll have news from Roglič, Cort, Vlasov, Ineos and Movistar coming through the evening so stay tuned for that.

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