Vuelta a Espana 2021 - Stage 11 as it happened - Cort caught at the death as rampant Roglic wins
Demark's Magnus Cort put up a splendid fight but in the end Primoz Roglic prevailed with a thrilling win ahead of Enric Mas in Stage 11. Find out how it all played out with our rolling live blog... You can watch La Vuelta live and ad-free on the Eurosport app and Eurosport.co.uk.
Primoz Roglic broke Magnus Cort’s heart to take his second win of La Vuelta after outkicking big rival Enric Mas on the ramped finale to Stage 11 once both riders had blasted past the last man standing from the day’s breakaway in Valdepenas de Jaen.
1. Christian Odd Eiking 2. Guillaume Martin +58 3. Primoz Roglic +1:56 4. Enric Mas +2:31 5. Miguel Angel Lopez +3:28
The only difference in the top 10 sees Adam Yates swap places with Sepp Kuss, the Briton moving up to eighth. Jack Haig stays sixth at 3:55 and Egan Bernal seventh at 4:46.
Eiking retains the red jersey
The Norwegian finished strongly for 10th place on the day just behind Egan Bernal (and one place ahead of Guillaume Martin). They were 11 seconds down on the winner Roglic so both riders will stay ahead of the defending champion on GC tonight. Mas was three seconds back with his teammate Lopez in third at five seconds. Jack Haig took fourth in a group with Adam Yates, Romain Bardet, Felix Grossschartner and Aleksandr Vlasov, who were all seven seconds behind Roglic. This is before the bonus seconds are factored in.
Heartbreak for Magnus Cort who came within 150 metres of a second stage win in this Vuelta only to this time be denied by the rampant Roglic and the rest...
Victory for Primoz Roglic!
The Slovenian rides clear of Enric Mas on the drive to the line to take a deserved victory - his second of the race - and with it some extra seconds, plus bonus seconds... Here's how he did it:
Roglic and Mas go for it
This is a thrilling duel behind Cort as the two best riders of this Vuelta resume their battle. Roglic appears to close the door on Mas by the barriers, but the Spaniard then comes round and takes the initiative. But ahead, Cort is still ahead and hasn't given up... until he's caught with 150m to go ahead of the bend and the home straight!
Just 15 seconds for Cort as he goes under the banner and hits the start of this ramped finale. It feels a bit like the rise up into Siena at the end of Strade Bianche - and behind it's Sepp Kuss who comes to the front to lead out his Jumbo teammate Primoz Roglic...
2km: Jumbo-Visma and BikeExchange reappear
With Cort still 27 seconds clear there's a reshuffle on the front of the pursuing pack. The Dane will have to dig deep into the pain cave if he wants to win this on the 25% wall.
4km: Cort extends lead on descent
The Danish powerhouse hasn't given up just yet - the man in pink is now 30 seconds clear again as Dylan van Baarle comes to the front of the pack with his Ineos Grenadiers teammate Egan Bernal, the man in white, on his back wheel.
8km: Cort goes over the top
The Dane with the blonde moustache crests the summit with a small gap of just 20 seconds with Italy's Damiano Caruso attacking to pip David de la Cruz to the line to consolidate his lead in the polka dot jersey standings. Now it's time for this fast and technical descent to the foot of the steep ramped finale. Heart-in-mouth stuff.
10km: David de la Cruz attacks
The Spanish climber-journeyman puts in the first move from the main pack, which has slimmed down to around 40 riders now. The UAE rider was 6:49 down in 13th place this morning and he's opened up a small gap. It was Spaniards Mikel Nieve (BikeExchange) and Carlos Verona (Movistar) who were setting the tempo when he made his move. Cort still has 2km to go to the summit but his gap is down to just 30 seconds. Meanwhile, Odd Christian Eiking is holding on - although the red jersey is pretty much on the back of this main pack...
12km: Cort retains his lead
While all the other escapees have now been swept up by the pack, lone leader Magnus Cort still has 45 seconds on the main pack. BikeExchange, Movistar and UAE Team Emirates are on the front of the pack, with Jumbo just committing one man for now - the Dutch rider Bouwman.
16km: Cat.2 Puerto de Locubin
The breakaway is onto the day's only categorised climb which is 8.8km at 5%. Almost instantly Magnus Cort detonates a bomb as he rides clear of his fellow escapees who follow not as one but one by one, individually tailed out in his wake. Koen Bouwman comes to the front of the pack ahead of the Movistar train when the peloton hits the start of the climb around 45 seconds in arrears.
20km: Big fight for positions on the front
With the road now heading downhill to the foot of the climb there's a huge increase in tempo as many teams flock to the front and attempt to string things out and deliver their GC men safetly - and well placed - to the climb. Damiano Caruso, the polka dot jersey, put in a srint but it's now Movistar and Ineos who are piling on the pressure. Just 50 seconds now for the breakaway.
25km: Ineos and Jumbo come to the front
The teammates of Egan Bernal and Adam Yates, on the one hand, and Primoz Roglic, on the other, have come to the front to set tempo ahead of today's only cateogorised climb. The gap for the five leaders is down to 1:15 and it looks like even a deep ride from Cort won't be enough to defy the inevitable today.
30km: Planckaert wins intermediate sprint
Perhaps as a nod to his departed teammate Jasper Philipsen, it's Alpecin-Fenix's Edward Planckaert who wins the intermediate sprint at Alcala la Real ahead of Magnus Cort and Jonathan Lastra. Following the withdrawal of double stage winner Philipsen this morning, Fabio Jakobsen's nearest challenger in the green jersey standings is now that man Cort who rises to 84 points. The Dutchman, also a double stage winner, is 94 points clear and looking good for the green jersey provided he can get to the finish at Santiago de Compostela in two Sundays' time.
When Bahamontes gifted the 1957 Vuelta to rival Lorono
One of cycling’s bitterest rivalries exploded during the 1957 Vuelta a España, when Federico Bahamontes blew a 16-minute lead to hand his big rival Jesús Loroño the yellow jersey on a plate. But, as Felix Lowe recalls, there’s much more than there seems to a story that blends social, political, economic, sporting and personal conflict.
The dust had barely settled on the Coppi and Bartali whirlwind that gripped Italian cycling either side of the Second World War, and the Anquetil verses Poulidor narrative had yet to capture the hearts and minds of French fans, when Spain was captivated by a rivalry of its own in the 1950s that split the nation in two.
1959 Tour de France champion Federico Martín Bahamontes
Image credit: From Official Website
In the one camp, the Bahamonistas, supporters of the Castilian rider widely considered to be among the best climbers of all time; in the other, the Loroñistas, Basque fans devoted to the ruthless rider who constantly clipped the wings of the so-called Eagle of Toledo. Loroño would pip his great rival to both the Tour de France polka dot jersey and the Vuelta’s yellow jersey, but ultimately leave behind a lesser legacy than Spain’s first ever Tour winner.
“It turned into an eight-year duel that tapped directly into some of the most important divisions within Spanish society of the time and is still referred to as the most intense rivalry between two individual athletes in the history of sport in the country,” writes Alasdair Fotheringham, Bahamontes’ biographer. Read on by clicking the link below...
48km: BikeExchange still with two men on the front
Jumbo-Visma clearly want today's stage because they wouldn't commit their train to such a prominent position in the peloton otherwise. For now, though, it's the BikeExchange team of Michael Matthews who have two men on the front either side of a single Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert man. The Belgian team are present because it's their rider, Odd Christian Eiking, who is in the red jersey.
Matthews tried his best in Stage 6 when Cort held off Roglic on the Alto de la Montana de Cullera - the Australian taking sixth place. He clearly fancies his chances today on the ramped finish, which will suit him, but will suit Roglic better. Still, in the words of Rog: "No risk, no glory".
55km: Simon Carr withdraws
It's been a pretty rotten Vuelta for EF Education-Nippo's British contingent: following Hugh Carthy's withdrawal last week, Simon Carr is the latest to step off his bike. Magnus Cort has a knack of putting in morale-boosting rides in the breakaway for EF: his victory last week coincided with Carthy's initial GC collapse on the climb above Cullera, and today he's in the break as Carr calls it quits.
60km: Gap stays constant for five leaders
Our escapees - Edward Planckaert (Alpecin-Fenix), Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo), Joan Bou (Euskadi-Euskatel) and Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) - still have a gap of around 1:45 over the peloton. They broke clear after a hectic opening 30km of riding but surely don't have enough to stay clear all the way to the finish. Although that man Cort has a good recent track record of holding Primoz Roglic at bay on uphill sprints to the finish...
Red jersey Eiking ahead of today's stage
We caught up with the surprise red jersey Odd Christian Eiking ahead of today's stage after the Norwegian took over the race lead yesterday. You imagine that Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert's best hopes for the GC still lie with little Louis Meintjes, who dropped two places to 15th yesterday. The South African is seven minutes down on his teammate, but 4:42 behind the race favourite, Roglic.
Last three winners in Valdepenas de Jaen
There's a ramp of 20% up to the finish line today and the last three previous winners - Dani Moreno (2013), Joaquim Rodriguez (2011) and Igor Anton (2010) - give you an idea of the kind of rider who will probably win today. In short: his name is Primoz Roglic. Or, perhaps, Michael Matthews...
Addy Engels on Primoz Roglic
Here's Jumbo-Visma DS speaking to the Eurosport crew ahead of today's stage, which his leader clearly fancies because Jumbo are doing a lot of work alongside BikeExchange on the front.
80km: Cort the leading statesman
The breakaway have climbed up onto a plateau and are now riding through fields and rolling fields of olive trees - it's quite some sight. Their gap has been reduced to 1:45 thanks to the pacing from BikeExchange and Jumbo-Visma. Magnus Cort, a winner here last week, is the only rider in this five-man move with pro wins (plural) to his name: the Dane has 19 wins over the course of his career, including four on the Vuelta. Edward Planckaert has just the single win - earlier this year at the Vuelta a Burgos - while none of Joan Bou, Harm Vanhoucke or Jonathan Lastra has tasted success on the pro circuit before.
87km: Simmons hits the deck
A touch of wheels on a tight uphill bend sees the flame-haired American Quinn Simmons hit the deck, albeit at quite a gentle speed. The Trek-Segafredo rider also appears to have a puncture - perhaps that contributed to the incident? - because he removes his rear wheel after picking himself up off the road. He'll wait for his team car before returning on his way with just a small graze on his knee.
95km: Two minutes for quintet
After one final last-ditch attempt from the bespectacled Burgos livewire Angel Madrazo is shut down by a combination of the other wildcard Spanish teams and, oddly enough, Tom Pidcock of Ineos Grenadiers, things seem to settle in the peloton. This sees the gap grow to two minutes for the five leaders, who have been allowed to stay out - for now. A combination of Jumbo-Visma, Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert and Team BikeExchange come to the front of the pack to regulate the tempo and keep things in order.
100km: Burgos-BH lead the chase
They missed the 31-man move yesterday and they're not involved in this breakaway either - so it's entirely understandable that the boys in purple are doing their best to neutralise this breakaway as the gap grows above the one-minute mark.
105km: Five riders clear
This looks more like it... Edward Planckaert (Alpecin-Fenix), Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo), Joan Bou (Euskadi-Euskatel) and Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto Soudal) have opened up a gap off the front. Could this be the move which finally sticks?
Who will be in red tonight?
Jumbo-Visma let yesterday's large breakaway go the distance yesterday as Primoz Roglic wilfully conceded the red jersey to Norway's Odd Christian Eiking, the second Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert rider to achieve that feat in this Vuelta after Estonia's Rein Taaramae. Eiking holds a 58-second lead over Frenchman Guillaume Martin of Cofidis while Roglic is now in third place at 2:17.
While Roglic is one of the favourites for today's stage, he will probably wouldn't win back enough time to return to red - nor would be probably fancy that scenario - so it's likely that Eiking will retain the lead. Although having missed out narrowly on the yellow jersey in July, Martin may fancy his chances of red today...
110km: Caruso the latest to try his luck
A stage winner on Sunday's summit finish on the Alto de Velefique, Damiano Caruso dropped five places to 20th on GC yesterday on another bad day for his Bahrain Victorious leader Mikel Landa. Caruso, the surprise runner-up in the Giro behind Egan Bernal, has a pop off the front but no one comes with him, until everyone does, and it's all snuffed out. We go again...
115km: More attacks as peloton stretches out
Like yesterday - and most days, to be fair - it's a fast and furious start to today's stage. Six more riders try their luck but it's no-can-do under the southern Spanish sun. The mercury is pushing 30 degrees out there as the battle continues to get into the break.
Roglic risks all in search of perfection
Already dispossessed of the burden of the red jersey, Primoz Roglic tore up the script book with a statement of intent on the Puerto de Almachar yesterday – only to come crashing back to earth with a bang while throwing caution to the wind in search of Vuelta nirvana.
If not an attempt to put the race to bed early, then surely it was the sign of a rider who perhaps fears his nearest rivals – and, indeed, his own ability deep into the third week – more than he's letting on. That, or he simply spotted an opportunity and decided to put on a show. A case of Occam's razor culminating in a very close shave.
Either way, Roglic’s fall was a timely reminder of how his apparent dominance remains very fragile. Enric Mas remains just 28 seconds in arrears and he and Movistar teammate Miguel Angel Lopez may well have seen a chink in their rival’s armour on the day he almost put them to the sword.
Well, that was short-lived. We're back together again after the leaders were reeled in. The connection was made shortly after Luka Mezgec (Team BikeExchange), Oier Lazkano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) managed to bridge over to make it 10 clear. Once the move is shut down, there's a counter from Joan Bou (Euskaltel-Euskadi) but that, too, comes to ziltch.
125km: Team BikeExchange pull in peloton
The Australian team probably eye an opportunity today for their man Michael Matthews - that may explain why they're leading the chase on this seven-man move, which they missed. As a result, the gap remains very small for the escapees.
130km: Seven riders on the move
There's an early breakaway with a lead of around 15 seconds. They are: Stan Dewulf (AG2R-Citroën), Patrick Gamper (Bora-Hansgrohe), José Herrada (Cofidis), Tom Scully (EF Education-Nippo), Juan Jose Lobato (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal) and Chris Hamilton (Team DSM).
133.6km to go: Stage 11 is under way!
The remaining 169 riders roll out of Antequera and get this intriguing stage started - it's the shortest road stage of this year's Vuelta and we have the Norwegian Odd Christian Eiking in the red jersey following his fifth place finish from the large 31-man breakaway yesterday.
Philipsen one of two non-starters
Fabio Jakobsen's hopes of winning the green jersey have been given a huge boost by the withdrawal of his closest rival Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) and the Spaniard Alex Aranburu of Astana-PremierTech (who crashed on the final descent yesterday). Belgium's Philipsen - who, like Jakobsen, has won two stages in this Vuelta - was just 16 points down on his Dutch rival in the green jersey standings.
Philipsen had this to say this morning: "Very, very disappointed, but I need to leave the Vuelta earlier than I thought. I have some mild fever symptons and the decision was taken with the team management and medical staff to withdraw. It was a successful Vuelta with two stage wins and five days in the green jersey. But I will come back for more."
Hills galore but only one categorised climb
Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of today's Stage 11 from Antequera to Valdepenas de Jaen – potential ambush territory with numerous uncategorised climbs along a short 133km route that concludes with a Cat.2 test ahead of a closing ramp hitting 20 per cent. Here's what's on the menu...
Stage 10 recap - Roglic concedes red after crash as Storer doubles up
The day Primoz Roglic lost the red jersey for a second time – and hit the deck on the final descent – could, oddly enough, prove to be the day the Slovenian effectively secured his third consecutive victory in la Vuelta.
With Australia’s Michael Storer (Team DSM) on his way to a superb second stage win of this Vuelta, Roglic attacked from the peloton to leave his GC rivals scrambling in his wake. If the Jumbo-Visma rider had wilfully conceded the red jersey – having let a large 31-man breakaway go 12 minutes up the road – he seemed determined to assert his authority on the race by extending his lead over his rivals.
Roglic went over the summit of the Puerto de Almachar with 20 seconds on a chase group containing Movistar duo Enric Mas and Miguel Angel Lopez, and the Australian Jack Haig of Bahrain Victorious – his three closest opponents in the general classification.
But the Slovenian took too big a risk on a tight corner on the descent and lost his back wheel in the dust before skidding off the road – the defending champion brought down to earth with a bang after what appeared to be a huge statement of intent.
Highlights: Roglic loses red on hectic Stage 10 finish as Storer doubles up
‘Mad stuff!’ – Kelly on Roglic's Stage 10 descent antics
And Sean Kelly questioned the wisdom behind Roglic’s actions.
When it was put to him by Orla Chennaoui that Roglic’s move was a statement of intent, Kelly agreed but caveated the point.
“Yes, very much so, but the point we are in the race, the advantage that he has got and with how the team are riding, [it doesn’t make much sense],” began Kelly.
Attacking on the climb is one thing but taking that risk on the descent is another. He could have broken a collarbone or done major damage there, and he could be out of the race.
"It is not that the riders behind him are a major concern in the next few days over the big climbs. On Sunday's Stage 9, for example, [on a big climb] he was so dominant and he was able to match anybody.
"So I ask myself, 'why take this risk?'
If the finish was at the top of the climb then fine but taking that risk on that descent: mad stuff.
‘Taking that risk on the descent...mad stuff!’ – Kelly on Roglic risk-taking