La Vuelta | Stage 10



Stage 10 report: Storer wins, Eiking in red, Roglic crashes

It all happened today - especially with Primoz Roglic losing his red jersey but, despite that crash, consolidating his position as race favourite...
Blazin’ Saddles: The unsung heroes of the 2021 cycling season
30/12/2021 AT 12:05

New top 10 in general classification

The Norwegian Odd Christian Eiking now has a 58-second lead over Guillaume Martin in the standings with Primoz Roglic down to third at 2:17. There's no change in the next four with Enric Mas at 2:45, Miguel Angel Lopez at 3:38, Jack Haig at 3:59 and Bernal at 4:46 - although the Colombian concedes 37 seconds. Sepp Kuss stays in eighth but Adam Yates drops three places to ninth.

Storer wins and Eiking in red

That's only the half of it given Roglic's crash and the time losses by the Ineos Grenadiers GC men. But let's start with a reminded of today's top 10 with a second stage win for the 24-year-old Australian Michael Storer.

Lopez leads Roglic group home

The red jersey group comes home as one and the clock starts to see what the damage is for the chasers... and it was 37 seconds in the end that separated the Roglic-Mas group and the Bernal-Yates one.

2km: Bernal and Yates group 35 seconds down

No one expected a shake-up on GC but we'll get that today - albeit a minor one. More importantly, we'll see some chinks in Roglic's armour. He didn't need to attack, nor did he need to push things on the descent. But he did, and he suffered the consequences. Will he regret that or will he just chalk it down as experience?

5km: Roglic group joined by trio

Sepp Kuss, Felix Grossschartner and Alexander Vlasov catch up with the red jersey group. Roglic will be pleased to see his American teammate Kuss. An odd day for the Slovenian - he's gone from hero to zero pretty quickly - yet will still have put time into the Ineos duo of Bernal and Yates.

8km: Bernal 35 seconds down

The white jersey still trails this four-man Roglic group by 35 seconds with Haig driving the pace and both Mas and Lopez reinvigorated by the sight of Roglic skidding out ahead of them on that descent. There's no way the Slovenian will keep the red jersey today but he should, after all, extend his lead over some of his rivals, if not over his three closest challengers.

Michael Storer wins Stage 10

It's a second Vuelta victory for the man from Perth who soloes home after another superb display for Team DSM. Mauri Vansevenant pips Clement Champoussin and Dylan Van Baarle for second place around 25 seconds down with Odd Christian Eiking also in that chase group. The Norwegian will be in red tonight.

Final kilometre for Storer

The Australian is all smiles as he ploughs down the home straight on his way to a second win. Behind, Roglic has been caught by Mas, Lopez and Haig after his crash.

Roglic hits the deck!

The race leader losed his back wheel and skids on a tight, dusty bend. He hits the tarmac and ends up on the side of the road against the barriers. It's not a huge hit - but that will have taken the wind out of his sails and brought the red jersey down to earth with a bang.

5km: Eiking to be in red as Martin fades

The Frenchman appears to have dropped back on this descent with Storer being chased by Champoussin, Vansevenant and Eiking. They're 25 seconds down with a second group containing Bouchard, Martin, Van Baarle, Schultz and Elissonde around a minute back. Roglic has gone over the top ans is 11:45 down with a gap of 20 seconds over Movistar duo of Lopez and Mas, and the Australian Jack Haig. The big losers today are Ineos whose GC pair of Bernal and Yates are losing time.

10km: Storer maintains lead on descent

The lone leader has 45 seconds on his pursuers so unless he comes a cropper he should win today. The question remains who will take the red jersey - Martin or Eiking - and then how much Roglic, in turn, will extend his lead by over his principal rivals. So much happening on both sides of this mountain. And the day Roglic loses red could be the day he wins the Vuelta.

14km: Roglic attacks!

The defending champion may be prepared to lose the red jersey today but he's now doing his best to extend his lead over his main challengers. Roglic puts in a big attack for which none of his GC rivals has an answer. Adam Yates is not part of the chase group which included Bernal, Haig, Kuss, Mas and Lopez - and soon Bernal, the white jersey, also fades.

16km: Storer goes over the top

The baby-faced Australian crests the summit of this climb with a gap of around 30 seconds on Champoussin, who is about to be caught by Bouchard, Martin, Vansevenant, Van Baarle, Eiking, Schultz and Elissonde. If Storer can stay up on two wheels he should take a second stage win today - and deservedly so.

18km: Landa dropped from peloton

Mikel Landa's disappointing Vuelta continues: he is distanced by the peloton which now has Pavel Sivakov setting tempo for Ineos with Roglic tucked in just behind. Further up the road, we have come counter attacks from Bouchard, who takes Elissonde, Martin and Eiking with him. Storer still leads by 30 seconds over Champoussin with the chasers just a few seconds behind.
Martin and Eiking keep trading attacks - that's because they're both in line to take the red jersey today depending on how the next 20 minutes pan out.

20km: Elissonde passes Oliveira

But the Frenchman's lead won't last long because the front of the break is closing on in. After a series of ups and downs, the climb is now very much a climb again - and the gradient, plus the competitive tempo, has strung out this break, which was once 31-strong. And that's it, Elissonde has been caught by a group that includes that man Storer, Aranburu and two Deceuninck riders - Bagioli and Vansevenant. It's Storer, a stage winner last week, who dictates play with an acceleration that forces a reply from Clement Champoussin of AG2R.
Meanwhile, back on the front of the peloton the pace is being driven by two Movistar riders and then the Ineos train. It's unlikely they will put Roglic under pressure today but they're going to give it a go.

23km: Oliveira goes solo

The Portuguese rider zips clear on one of the flatter segments of this step in the climb. It's a very fluid situation behind him with an ever-changing group of chasers just a few seconds ahead of that large breakaway. Kenny Elissonde appears to be chasing on his own now after a Calmejane effort brought the other chasers to heel.

25km: Four becomes seven, then many more

Michael Storer, Lawson Craddock and Andrea Bagioli have bridged over to the leaders - numerous riders are now also making the connection, and this sparks a reaction from the Belgian De Tier, who rides clear on a brave solo effort. There's a little step in this climb so it levels out for a bit before the final, longer, slog to the summit.

27km: Cat.2 Puerto de Almachar

We're onto the only categorised climb of the day which is 10.9km at 4.9%. The four leaders have 25 seconds on the chasers and 13:10 on the peloton. It's this climb - and the descent down the back - which will decide the destiny of today's stage.

30km: Quartet making little headway

The leaders have not managed to carve out more than 15 seconds on the breakaway and it looks almost certain that they will be swept up before the climb. I can see the sense of Trentin tying to go early to build up a small gap ahead of the climb - but it doesn't appear to have worked for the man with four previous Vuelta stage wins to his name.

35km: Four riders clear after Trentin dig

It turns out that Matteo Trentin actually initiated an attack after winning the intermediate sprint ahead of teammate Rui Oliveira and Thymen Arensman. Once the Italian went, he took Floris de Tier, Alex Aranburu and Jesus Herrada with him. The quartet have 10 seconds to play with over the other 27 escapees, with the pack now at 12:35.

40km: The gap grows above 12 minutes

The breakaway seemed to pass through the intermediate sprint at Torre del Mar without any movement or action - either that or the TV producer missed it entirely. In any case, the 31 riders have over 12 minutes to play with, and with that climb coming up, perhaps we can expect some movement before the gradient heads uphill.

50km: 10 minutes now for the breakaway

This puts Odd Christian Eiking firmly in the virtual red jersey - and that may explain why we saw Primoz Roglic off the back of the peloton and speaking to his DS, Addy Engels. Perhaps Jumbo-Visma have made a call and decided that they're not going to chase this one. Their week would certainly be less stressful with someone else in red. And if it's not the Norwegian, then it could also be Guillaume Martin (+9:39).

55km: A few drops of rain

It's very hazy out there on the Costa Tropical and we've even had a few spots of rain. It will be interesting to see if this develops - a wet final descent ahead of the finish could be quite a curveball for this breakaway,

65km: Eiking to be in red?

Stranger things have happened - and Jumbo-Visma wouldn't necessarily be against giving their man in red, Roglic, a break from all the race leader's duties. For now, with the gap rising above eight minutes, the Norwegian is only one minute or so away from being the virtual race leader.

78km: Jumbo-Visma control the tempo

I'm just off to grab some lunch from down in the kitchen. Back in five minutes. Hopefully the race won't blow apart in the interim. With the gap now 6:45, the Jumbo-Visma teammates of Primoz Roglic are on the front of the pack controlling the tempo - with Movistar and Ineos Grenadiers ticked in behind. The man in red is actually not there - he must be dropping back to speak to his directeur sportif. Talking of which, here's what Addy Engels told us this morning...

‘That doesn’t mean he isn’t suffering!’ - Addy Engels on ‘comfortable’ Roglic

80km: Cort and Storer could double up

This break has two riders who have already won a stage on this year's Vuelta - the aforementioned Magnus Cort (who had four Vuelta stage wins to his name in total) and the Australian Michael Storer. Five others are previous stage winners on the Vuelta: Matteo Trentin (four times), Lilian Calmejane, Jesus Herrrada, Kenny Elissonde and Jens Keukeleire. Meanwhile, the following riders have picked up wins in other Grand Tours: Luis Leon Sanchez (x4 Tour), Cesare Benedetti, Max Schachmann and Jhonatan Narvaez (all x1 in Giro). Trentin is the only man to win in all three: x1 Giro, x3 Tour, x4 Vuelta.

90km: Magnus Cort is, in fact, there

The Dane is actually in this move and Camargo, his teammate, is not - although he was, but was dropped after his mechanical. So it's 31 riders now with a swelling gap of five minutes over the peloton. It seems like the green jersey group - which also included Tom Pidcock of Ineos Grenadiers - has managed to return to the fray.
Talking of Cort, the Stage 6 winner spoke to Eurosport ahead of today's stage:

‘We are only here for stage wins’ – Cort ahead of Stage 10 breakaway opportunity

95km: Over three minutes now

The breakaway have 3:05 over the main pack with the Jakobsen group closing in on the peloton now that the break has gone up the road and the situation has taken that intermediate sprint out of the equation. The best placed rider in the move is Eiking, who is 9:10 down on GC and so no huge threat to Primoz Roglic. The pace is high on the front and Colombian Camargo has been distanced while he attends to a mechanical issue.
You have to fancy Matteo Trentin on a day like this... that man Geoffrey Bouchard, too, and Alex Aranburu. Let's see how this one pans out. I'm just surprised that EF have three men in the move and none of them is Magnus Cort.

100km: Some names for you

Right, the identity of some of the 31 riders in this breakaway are filtering through to us finally. They are Geoffrey Bouchard, Lilian Calmejane and Clement Champoussin (AG2R-Citroen), Floris de Tier (Alpecin-Fenix), Alex Aranburu and Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana-PremierTech), Cesare Benedetti and Max Schachmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Jonathan Lastra and Julen Amezqueta (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Guillaume Martin and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), Andrea Bagioli and Mauri Vansevenant (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Diego Camargo, Lawson Craddock and Jens Keukeleire (EF Education-Nippo), Xabier Azparren (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Olivier Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ), Jhonatan Narvaez and Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers), Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert), Florian Vermeersch (Lotto Soudal), Damien Howson and Nick Schultz (Team BikeExchange), Thymen Arensman, Michael Storer and Martijn Tusveld (Team DSM), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Rui Oliveira and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates).

105km: It's all happening out there...

Just a shame none of us can actually see it! The host broadcaster has yet to release the live images and so the events on the road are shrouded in mystery for now. Which is a shame because we're hearing that a large break of around 30 riders had gone clear with a slender lead over the first part of the peloton, with that Jakobsen second peloton now over one minute down.

115km: Nine attackers caught, green jersey distanced

In the end it was nine riders who went clear after that move by Carapaz. They have been brought back but the split in the peloton has caught out the green jersey of Fabio Jakobsen. This is an interesting development because it could see the Alpecin-Fenix team of Jasper Philipsen take up pacing duties: the Belgian is only one point behind the Dutchman in the points classification so if he can pick up something at the intermediate sprint, then he could be back in green tonight. The gap between the two parts of the peloton is 45 seconds.

120km: Now Carapaz has a pop!

Bagioli's move comes to ziltch but then something far more interesting - no offence, Andrea - happens: the Olympic champion dances clear on his golden bike and in his golden eat-your-heart-out-Greg helmet. Richard Carapaz opens up a small gap, and while it comes to nothing, it does pre-empt a counter by six others while the peloton splits behind amid all the pent-up excitement.

125km: A few lumps and bumps

It's not entirely flat out there despite the appearance of the profile. The roads rise and fall as they leave bays or coastal towns before dropping down to the next - so someone, or a group of someones, could perhaps use one of these coastal hillocks as a springboard.
And look, that someone could well be Andrea Bagioli of Deceuninck-QuickStep. The Italian youngster has opened up a small gap on the front as he tests his legs entering the town of Castell del Ferro (Ironcastle, to you and me)...

135km: Very high average speed

The race covered either 49.3km or 50.2km (depending on who you believe: the Vuelta official site or ProCyclingStats) in the first hour which explains why it has been so difficult for anyone to make a move that sticks. The latest attempt features eight riders but it fizzles out quicker than a bowl of Rice Crispies goes soggy.

146km: Aaaand... back together

The escapees are reeled in after failing to get enough leeway from the peloton, which is pelting down the coast at a pace hardly conducive for scuttling away up the road. The longer this goes on, the less likely it is for a breakaway to go the distance today - especially with that climb coming up near the finish.

162km: Tratnik joins leaders

We now have a trio ahead as Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious) manages to bridge over to Meeus and Senechal. The trio only has a slender lead over the peloton, though, and there's another rider doing his best to join the party: Robert Stannard (Team BikeExchange). It's fair to say that this tailwind is making it hard for a breakaway to get a meaningful gap.

Re-Cycle: When Altig defied teammate Anquetil to win 1962 Vuelta

While we're waiting for today's breakaway to form how about you feast your eyes on a rest-day offering from the historical Re-Cycle series?
Frenchman Jacques Anquetil entered the 1962 Vuelta a España aiming to become the first rider in history to win all three of cycling’s Grand Tours. But the time trial specialist was beaten at his own game by his young teammate, who became Germany’s first ever Grand Tour winner. Felix Lowe remembers a power struggle that pushed both men to new heights...
Rudi Altig had a party trick. The big German with chiselled features and blonde hair was an early practitioner of yoga, which he used to help relax and steady his breathing at the track centres where he was so dominant in the late 1950s and 60s. Occasionally, he would hold himself upside down on his powerful arms and do a head stand, staying there until he felt ready to come down. Once, in the French city of La Rochelle, he even walked out of a restaurant on his hands.
If Altig was undeniably one of the most colourful characters of his generation – reflected by the rainbow bands he eventually wore around his chest – he also had the cycling skills to match his daftness off the bike. After all, there are not many riders who win their maiden Grand Tour by defying a leader who was the world’s greatest cyclist at the time.
By the beginning of 1962, Jacques Anquetil had won the Tour de France and Paris-Nice twice, the Giro d’Italia, and all of the world’s major time trials multiple times. Having notched his first Tour in 1957 and his first Giro in 1960, the Frenchman, according to Miroir du Cyclisme magazine at the start of the season, “envisions attacking the Tour of Spain rather than the Giro d’Italia because he wants to be the first rider in history to add his name to the palmarès of all three Grand Tours”. Read on by clicking the link below:

Re-Cycle: when Rudi Altig defied teammate Jacques Anquetil to win the 1962 title

Image credit: Getty Images

166km: Duo try their luck

Frenchman Florian Senechal (Deceuninck-QuickStep) and Belgium's Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) attack. This sparks a flurry of activity in their wake... But it remains to be seen if this will be the springboard for today's break - or just another fizzle-out.

179km: No breakaway so far

We're 10 klicks in and still we have not seen a break form from this long, stretched out peloton, which is trundling along at quite a fair lick thanks to the generous tailwind. Usually by this point in such a stage we'd see men in orange, purple and green/white off the front, so it's not quite sure what's happening in the Euskaltel, Burgos and Caja Rural camps. Perhaps they didn't have the right breakfast.
Poor Nico Denz and Lucas Hamilton both have mechanical issues so it will be a tricky chase back for the Team DSM and Team BikeExchange duo.

189km to go: Stage 10 under way!

The remaining 171 riders go under the kilometre zero banner and the second phase of this Vuelta is on the road. It's a balmy 29-degrees on the Costa Tropical with the wind currently a gentle-to-middling 12kmph. Hardly change-your-bib-shorts stuff for now. A reminder that Primoz Roglic is in red, Egan Bernal in white, Damiano Caruso in polka dots and Fabio Jacobsen in green.

Coastal winds and one climb 15km from the finish

Today's stage plays out almost entirely along the south coast of Spain to the west of Almeria - the riders dipping inland just for a Cat.2 climb which peaks out 15km from the finish ahead of a fast and technical descent and a flat run into Rincon de la Victoria. We're hearing reports that there could be some strong winds coming off the Mediterranean sea and so the riders will be on red alert for potential echelons forming. At 189km long, it's going to be another stressful day in the saddle - and who knows how the legs will respond after a day of rest...

La Vuelta a Espana 2021: Stage 10 profile

Image credit: Eurosport

Movistar and Ineos could yet stop Roglic winning third Vuelta

Increasingly secure in red but with two riders from Movistar still breathing down his neck, Primoz Roglic is the firm favourite to win a third successive Vuelta – but Enric Mas and Miguel Angel Lopez could still have their say. Egan Bernal and Adam Yates should not be discounted, either – although a slightly misfiring Ineos Grenadiers need to regroup and rethink ahead of the decisive final week.

The Ineos Grenadiers team of Egan Bernal (in white) lead Jumbo-Visma and Primoz Roglic (in red) during Stage 9 of La Vuelta 2021

Image credit: Getty Images

STAGE 9 RECAP - Caruso holds on to claim stunning Stage 9 win, Roglic lays down marker

Damiano Caruso (Bahrain - Victorious) claimed a stunning Stage 9 win at the Vuelta a Espana, while in the general classification fight Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) made a big statement in the red jersey ahead of the rest day.
The Bahrain – Victorious rider, who came second in the Giro earlier this year as well as taking another solo stage win there, was part of an early break of 11 riders, but was able to jump clear of the remnants of the move with 75km to go. It is only Caruso's fourth professional victory in a career that spans more than a decade.
At the base of the final climb – the Especial category Alto de Velefique – the 33-year-old had an advantage of 2'47" on the four chasers - Romain Bardet (Team DSM), Rafal Majka (UAE-Team Emirates), Julen Amezqueta (Caja Rural - Seguros RGA) and Geoffrey Bouchard (AG2R Citroën Team) – and 4'53" on a peloton that included Roglic.
Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) was part of that main group of favourites and attacked on multiple occasions during the climb of Velefique, but Roglic closed down the moves from the Brit. Ultimately, Yates was caught and dropped by Enric Mas (Movistar) and Roglic, with the four-man chase pack also swallowed up.
The pairing of Mas and Roglic was strong enough to stay ahead of the other contenders for the red jersey, and they crossed the line about one minute down on Caruso. From there, it was another 44 seconds until the next rider crossed the line.Jack Haig (Bahrain - Victorious) was fourth and Miguel Ángel López (Movistar Team) fifth, with Yates taking sixth on the stage.
Egan Bernal (Ineos) and Mikel Landa (Team Jumbo-Visma) were the big casualties in the GC battle, finishing 2'10" and 5'04” in arrears to Roglic. Landa's GC is now effectively over, with Bahrain's focus likely shifting to support Jack Haig. Mas is now 28 seconds behind Roglic, second in the race for red with teammate López at 1’28” occupying the final podium place.
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