Simon Clarke admitted he surprised even himself after edging out Taco van der Hoorn to win an action-packed stage five of the 2022 Tour de France.

The Israel-Premier Tech rider landed the victory from the breakaway on the cobbles of Arenberg on Wednesday, a day in which the General Classification was shaken up.

Jumbo-Visma endured a day to forget in the north-east of France, with Primoz Roglic crashing late on to see his title hopes dented and Wout Van Aert also losing ground.

While Roglic finished just under three minutes off the pace, race leader Van Aert recovered from an early crash of his own to finish just 13 seconds behind rival Tadej Pogacar.

UAE Team Emirates rider Pogacar, seeking a third Tour de France crown, rode clear of the main field to shake up the GC standings.

The day ultimately belonged to Clarke, though, with the Australian beating Van der Hoorn in a photo finish in a dramatic 157-kilometre race from Lille that went the distance.

Five men broke away from the pack and Clarke, who recently contemplated early retirement, dug deep to nudge his wheel over the line for his first Tour de France triumph.

"After the winter I had when I had no team, to then have Israel ring me and say we'll give you a chance, it gives you a reality check to make the most of every chance," Clarke said.

"I still can't believe I got it on the line. Taco was well ahead of me with less than 50m to go, both legs were camping and I just lined up the biggest throw I could possibly do.

"I just had to pray it was enough. I need to watch the replay – I still don't quite believe it!"

 

Roglic concedes ground on Pogacar

The leading group was reduced to five men with around 26km to go and it was Clarke who saw the job through ahead of Van der Hoorn, with Edvald Boasson Hagen rounding off the podium.

Stage five was a big one in terms of the GC, with defending champion Pogacar making up two minutes on Roglic to underline his status as favourite for another title.

STAGE RESULT 

1. Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) 3:13:35
2. Taco van der Hoorn (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) same time
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (TotalEnergies) +0:02
4. Neilson Powless (EF Education–EasyPost) +0.04
5. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education–EasyPost) +0.30


CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) 16:17:22
2. Neilson Powless (EF Education–EasyPost) +0:13
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen (TotalEnergies) +0:14

Points Classification

1. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) 178
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 126
3. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education–EasyPost) 86

King of the Mountains

1. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education–EasyPost) 11
2. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) 1

Yves Lampaert claimed a shock victory on stage one of the Tour de France in rainy conditions in Copenhagen to take the first yellow jersey of this year's race.

The Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl rider came out on top in Friday's opening 13.2-kilometre time trial in a time of 15 minutes and 17 seconds.

Lampaert dislodged Belgian countryman Wout van Aert, who finished five seconds back, while Tour favourite Tadej Pogacar was a further two seconds behind in third.

Time trial world champion Filippo Ganna and fellow heavyweight Mathieu van der Poel completed the top five, but it was surprisingly Lampaert who was celebrating at the end.

An emotional Lampaert said in his post-race interview: "My mind is exploding right now – I can't believe it. Top 10 would have been my expectation but to win is unbelievable.

"I know I'm in good condition, but to win the first stage of the Tour de France, the prologue, is something I never dreamed of.

"To beat Van Aert, Van der Poel, Ganna… it's unbelievable for me."

Lampaert, the fourth Belgian to win the opening time trial in the Tour de France, added: "I'm just a farmer's son from Belgium, eh."

Despite finishing in third, Pogacar confirmed his status as the overall favourite for a third title in a row by finishing as the best of the likely general classification racers.

The Slovenian laid down a marker when posting a time of 15:24, enough to finish just behind Team Jumbo-Visma's Van Aert, who was then usurped by Lampaert.

Elsewhere on stage one of the 109th edition of the race, Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic conceded eight and nine seconds to Pogacar respectively.


STAGE RESULT 

1. Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 15 minutes and 17 seconds
2. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) +0.05 seconds
3. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +0.07s
4. Filippo Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) +0.10s
5. Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck) +0.13s

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 0:15:17
2. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) +0.05
3. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +0.07

Points Classification

1. Yves Lampaert (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 20
2. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) 17
3. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 15

"I'm just a kid from Slovenia, watching television all day and then riding afterwards," said Tadej Pogacar, after winning the 2020 Tour de France.

Then just 21, he required a 57-second swing to overtake his compatriot Primoz Roglic on the final time trial.

He went on to win the grandest of the Grand Tours by 59 seconds, writing his name forever into cycling history as he won Le Tour on his debut.

There was less drama in 2021, as Pogacar easily retained the three jerseys he won in 2020 (the yellow for the general classification, polka dot for the mountains and white for the best young rider).

While Olympic glory went to Roglic, Pogacar is out to match the great Eddy Merckx in the record books as he returns to Grand Tour action after skipping the Giro d'Italia.

The race starts in Copenhagen on Friday, with the opening three stages winding their way through Denmark – the 10th nation other than France to host the Grand Depart.

Can anyone hope to stop Pogacar in the 109th edition of Le Tour, or is there just no matching the kid from Slovenia?

 

Pogacar has Merckx in his sights

Only Merckx has managed to win the Tour de France on each of his first three appearances in the race (the Belgian went on to win his first five in a row, remarkably), but a place in history is there for the taking for Pogacar.

He is already the youngest rider to win multiple yellow jerseys, at the age of 22 years and 301 days at the culmination of the 2021 Tour, while he has led the young rider classification for the last 30 stages in total, since stage 13 in 2020, which is the longest run since the white jersey was first awarded in 1975.

Pogacar is also aiming to become the first rider to win the king of the mountains jersey in three successive editions of the Tour de France since popular French rider Richard Virenque between 1994 and 1997.

"The Tour de France is the jewel in the crown. It's the one that the road cyclists do all want to win," Chris Hoy, one of the United Kingdom's greatest Olympians, told Stats Perform.

"As such, it's quite hard to predict. But Pogacar is one of these young phenomenal athletes who have shown such maturity, despite their years."

 

Roglic out for revenge

Roglic won the Criterium du Dauphine earlier in June, and looks well placed to push for what would be his fourth Grand Tour success, albeit his first outside of Spain.

The chance was cruelly snatched away in 2020, while Roglic was forced to abandon ahead of stage nine last year following a crash six stages prior.

Roglic is aiming to become the oldest rider to win the Tour de France since Cadel Evans in 2011 (34 years and 162 days).

He will be 32 years old and 268 days on the last day of this year's race, but is the prime contender from a strong Jumbo-Visma team.

Their line-up includes six-time Tour de France stage winner Wout van Aert, Jonas Vingegaard, who finished second overall in 2021, and Sepp Kuss, an exceptional climber who last year became the first American to win a stage at the Tour de France since Tyler Farrar in 2011, while Steven Kruijswijk is one of three riders in the squad to have finished on the GC podium before.

Van Aert is the pick of the supporting cast, with his six stage wins between 2019 and 2021 the joint-highest in that period alongside Pogacar.

Indeed, the Belgian won the final two stages last year and could become the first rider to win three successive individual stages (not including time trials) at Le Tour since Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi in 2003.

No Bernal, but INEOS looking strong

Egan Bernal has not yet fully recovered from a serious crash he suffered earlier this year, meaning INEOS Grenadiers are without one of the best in the business.

Yet their team is still one to be reckoned with. Captain Geraint Thomas is one of just three riders in the provisional start list to have won Le Tour (along with Pogacar and Chris Froome), with the Welshman heading to France on the back of his sole victory of 2022 so far, in the Tour de Suisse.

Only Merckx (in 1974) and Bernal (2019) have won both the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France in the same season, and while a Thomas push for GC glory looks unlikely, INEOS have real depth.

Tom Pidcock is one of the brightest prospects in cycling, having triumphed in the Tokyo Olympic Games mountain biking and the World Championships (cyclo-cross).

He is riding alongside Adam Yates, the winner of the white jersey in 2016, and time trial world champion Filippo Ganna.

Stage 20 between Lacapelle-Marival and Rocamadour (40.7km) will be the longest individual time trial in the Tour de France since 2014, and Ganna, a six-time stage winner at the Giro d'Italia, will be looking to come to the fore there.

Cavendish denied a shot at history

Despite Pogacar's dominance, Mark Cavendish provided the most remarkable story at the 2021 Tour de France. His comeback was one for the ages.

Cavendish had not featured at the Tour de France in 2016, but last year he won four stages to match the overall record of Merckx (34 stage victories) that had stood since 1975.

 

The Manxman was unable to surpass it on the Champs-Elysees, however, and his chance of becoming the outright record holder may well have gone, after Quick Step-Alpha Vinyl went with Fabio Jakobsen (who has 10 sprint wins this season) as their sprinter.

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team riders have led the points classification in the Tour de France in each of the last 33 stages of the race, with three of their riders winning the green jersey in that time. Julian Alaphilippe is one of them, but like Cavendish he has missed out.

France out of luck?

Alaphilippe has won six of the last nine stages won by a French rider in the Tour de France, and would have been aiming to become the first home rider to win a stage at five consecutive editions since Bernard Hinault (1978-1982).

As it is, Alaphilippe will have to watch on, and with that France's slim hopes of a home success seem to have dwindled further still.

Romain Bardet has achieved five top-10 finishes in the GC standings. That is the most for a French rider since Virenque (six between 1994 and 2000), yet Bardet has finished only two of his last four Grand Tours and it would be a shock if the Team DSM man challenged.

Pierre Rolland will participate in his 13th Tour de France, the joint-highest tally among all riders on the provisional start list, alongside Imanol Erviti, while Thibaut Pinot will make his first Grand Tour start since the 2020 Vuelta a Espana, when he abandoned after two stages. This will be his ninth appearance in La Grande Boucle, but he has finished only four times.

The last time a Frenchman did not win a stage was in 1999 – since then, 59 stages have been won by French riders – but you might not bet against that run ending this year.

Primoz Roglic would need an almighty slip up to fail to win the Vuelta a Espana, though Saturday's penultimate stage belonged to Clement Champoussin.

A monster, 202.2-kilometre route culminated in a summit finish on Mos. Castro de Herville, with 23-year-old Champoussin attacking with 1500m remaining to take the first stage win of his professional career.

The Frenchman crossed the line six seconds ahead of Roglic, who had led a chasing pack that caught breakaway leader Ryan Gibbons with around 4km left.

Roglic's second-place finish, two seconds ahead of nearest general classification rival Enric Mas of Movistar, should surely see the Jumbo-Visma rider claim La Roja for a third successive year.

It could all change in Sunday's time trial, but having won gold in such an event at the Tokyo Olympics, Roglic will know a third Vuelta crown is within his grasp.

Should he hold onto his GC lead, which stands at 2:38, Roglic will become only the fourth rider in history to win the Vuelta on three separate occasions, while he will also match Roberto Heras' feat of three consecutive triumphs (set between 2003 and 2005).

Stage 20 belonged to Champoussin, however. After Roglic, Mas, Adam Yates and Jack Haig had caught Gibbons, the AG2R Citroen rider lodged a surprise offensive, catching the quintet cold.

For a moment, with Roglic gaining ground, it looked as though Champoussin - who only turned pro last year - may have gone too soon, but he held on to claim a maiden grand tour stage success.

Behind Roglic, Adam Yates of INEOS Grenadiers just edged out Mas to secure a top-three finish. A dismal day for Miguel Angel Lopez saw him abandon the race with 20km remaining after he failed to keep pace with the general classification group.

STAGE RESULT

1. Clement Champoussin (AG2R Citroen) 05:21:50
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:06
3. Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:08

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 83:11:27
2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:38
3. Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) +4:48

Points Classification

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 250
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 179
3. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 145

King of the Mountains

1. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 80
2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 61
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 51

What's next?

Sunday's final stage is a 33.8km time trial from Padron to Santiago de Compostela. A consistent climb is followed by downhill, technical sections and a flat straight to the line. 

 

Primoz Roglic heads into the final weekend of the Vuelta a Espana with a third successive title within touching distance, while Magnus Cort won stage 19 on Friday.

Danish rider Cort, who also triumphed on stages six and 12, was the quickest man in a breakaway, holding off Rui Oliveira and Quinn Simmons to clinch victory in Monforte de Lemos.

EF Education-Nippo team-mate Lawson Craddock powered out to lead the final sprint and though Simmons attacked with 200 metres to go, it was Cort who caught the slipstream to claim a dramatic win by a bike length at the culmination of a 191.2-kilometre stage.

Cort, who won two stages in the 2016 Vuelta and one in 2020, said: "It's amazing, it's a dream now, I really hope I don't wake up. It was not before the last five or six kilometres that I started believing.

"They always kept us close and it was a really hard day. We didn't always work perfect together in the front, we had a few attacks that reduced the size of the group.

"I think everybody had tired legs and it was hard to work together in this hilly terrain but somehow we managed to hang onto it."

Roglic kept his general classification competitors at arm's length as he retained his grasp on La Roja heading into the last two stages, finishing 18 seconds behind the leaders.

Saturday's mountain stage could still cause problems, while Roglic has been hurt by time trials in grand tours before – the 2020 Tour de France was settled in Tadej Pogacar's favour in such a manner – but the Slovenian looks well placed to make it three Vuelta wins in a row.

Roglic's family were on hand to witness him receive the 50th overall leader jersey of his career, and the Olympic gold medallist knows he is on the verge of a remarkable achievement.

"It’s beautiful to have my family here. They are my life and I'm very happy," he said.

"It was a hard day from the start to the finish. A super strong break went away. For us, it was fine, and we could take it easy. But La Vuelta is coming to an end so there aren’t much opportunities left.

"The sprinters' teams pulled with a super hard tempo. It's crazy [that this is my 50th Grand Tour leader’s jersey]. Hopefully I can keep it."

STAGE RESULT

1. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 04:24:54
2. Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates) same time
3. Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 77:49:37
2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:30
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) +2:53

Points Classification

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 250
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 162
3. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 144

King of the Mountains

1. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 59
2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 54
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 48

What's next?

Saturday's route is a monster. A 202.2km stage from Sanxenxo to Mos. Castro de Herville takes in five short but difficult climbs after a relatively flat start.

 

Miguel Angel Lopez sealed a first stage victory of the 2021 Vuelta a Espana for Movistar as Primoz Roglic came second to increase his lead in the general classification. 

The demanding 18th stage concluded with a 14.6-kilometre climb - and it was with roughly with four to go that Lopez made his move. 

With a group of the world's best riders not far behind and primed to take advantage should he ultimately come up short, the Colombian knew he would likely need to maintain his aggression all the way to the finish. 

And despite the chasing pack edging a little closer in the latter stages, Lopez did enough to cross the line up in the clouds at the summit finish on Altu d'El Gamoniteiru, ending up 14 seconds clear. 

Missing out on first place will have been of little concern for Roglic, however, as the two-time Vuelta winner added another few seconds to his overall advantage over Lopez's Movistar team-mate Enric Mas as he enjoyed a strong conclusion to the last major climb of the race. 

Despite finishing well, Roglic stressed just how difficult Thursday's outing was after a superb effort when winning stage 17, while he was happy to be done with the high mountains at the Vuelta for 2021. 

"It felt like a queen stage, it was really hard, especially after yesterday's effort," he said. "It was extremely hard for me and I'm happy that I had something left to climb this mountain. 

"We were off duty [with Bahrain Victorious and Movistar Team pulling the peloton]. In my opinion, we could have gone easier! It was a hard pace and a hard day from start to finish. 

"I'm happy we're done with the big mountains. We're all feeling the efforts from the last two days and the three weeks before. 

"Still there are hard stages to come. Hopefully, we can do our best and finish it off." 

STAGE RESULT

1. Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) 04:41:21
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:14
3. Enric Mas (Movistar) +0:20

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 73:24:25
2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:30
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) +2:53

Points Classification

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 250
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 162
3. Matteo Trentin (UAE-Team Emirates) 123

King of the Mountains

1. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 59
2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 54
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 48

What's next?

Friday's 191.2km route from Tapia to Monforte de Lemos could be decisive. Considered "hilly" rather than mountainous, the peloton is likely to be tired after the exploits of Thursday, meaning opportunities for breakaways should be presented.

Primoz Roglic got himself back into La Roja with a superb effort in stage 17 of the Vuelta a Espana.

Two-time defending champion Roglic headed into Wednesday's route trailing general classification leader Odd Christian Eiking by 96 seconds, yet he put himself in a brilliant position to win a third successive Vuelta title.

Egan Bernal, another of the pre-race favourites, attacked with 61km remaining, but his effort was matched by Olympic gold medallist Roglic, who then powered away from the Colombian with 12km to go.

Giro d'Italia champion Bernal could not keep the pace and as Roglic powered away up the final ascent of Lagos de Covadonga, he was swallowed up by the chasing pack in the final kilometre.

Roglic crossed the line well over a minute ahead of Jumbo-Visma team-mate Sepp Kuss and now holds a big advantage over Movistar duo Enric Mas and Miguel Angel Lopez, while Eiking was dropped by the chasing group before he crashed on a descent.

While he will be confident of holding on to defend his title, Roglic knows Thursday's stage – a 162.6km route featuring four climbs – will be crucial.

"In cycling there's always a risk and a lot of things can happen but it went well today. I enjoyed it and it's a super nice day for me and the whole team," he said.

"I just went with [Bernal]. It's a race eh? I didn't think, I just went with him. Then I was thinking 'it's quite far' a little bit. It's still a hard climb at the end. I was going good, it was a real show, real racing.

"I just tried to ride up the climb as fast as possible. At that point Egan didn't follow anymore so I just went alone.

"Tomorrow is a real queen stage coming. We'll see if [my lead] will be enough after tomorrow."

STAGE RESULT

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 04:34:45
2. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +1:35
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 68:42:56
2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:22
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) +3:11

Points Classification

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 250
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 145
3. Matteo Trentin (UAE-Team Emirates) 123

King of the Mountains

1. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 51
2. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 34
3. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) 33

What's next?

Thursday's race from Salas to Altu d'El Gamoniteiru really could decide the general classification tussle in Roglic's favour should he triumph. It features two category one climbs, one category two ascent and a summit finish.

Romain Bardet's late attack paid dividends as he took stage 14 of the Vuelta a Espana in Saturday's potentially pivotal mountain route.

Bardet pushed off with just under 7km remaining of the final ascent up the 14.7km Pico Villuercas climb.

Having been part of an 18-man breakaway, Bardet – of Team DSM – could not be caught and crossed the line 44 seconds ahead of Jesus Herrada, while Jay Vine came third despite crashing into his team car around midway through the stage.

Odd Christian Eiking kept hold of La Roja, though was unable to keep pace with Primoz Roglic, who edged ahead of Miguel Angel Lopez to gain 20 seconds on the race leader.

Enric Mas, Egan Bernal and Jack Haig managed to stay with two-time defending champion Roglic, who will be looking to make his prowess in the mountains count during a gruelling stage on Sunday.

"It's been a long wait. It means a lot. I've been second too many times," said Bardet, who has now taken the king of the mountains jersey, after claiming his first stage win at a Vuelta.

"Today I went full gas to be in the good break. I know that taking the polka-dot jersey it'd be a double victory. It's fantastic. 

"I think we played it smart with my sports director and he told me exactly when to attack on the steepest part of the climb and go for it as if the finish was there in front of me.

"I opened a good gap and made it to the finish. Everyone is tired but the spirit is so high in the team, so the moral is high. We're all focused and I'm so happy to be part of a good group of guys.

"We're enjoying ourselves and trying to do our best for the team. It's an amazing Vuelta."

STAGE RESULT

1. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 4:20:36
2. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) +0:44
3. Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 55:3:17
2. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +0:54
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1:36

Points Classification

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 200
2. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education–Nippo) 114
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 106

King of the Mountains

1. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 50 
2. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) 31
3. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 17

What's next?

Four categorised climbs await the riders on Sunday, across a mammoth 197.5km route from Navalmoral de la Mata to El Barraco.

Magnus Cort sealed his second stage win of the 2021 Vuelta a Espana on Thursday as he edged out Andrea Bagioli at the death to bounce back from late disappointment a day earlier.

Cort had looked in good shape to win Wednesday's stage 11 only to be caught in the final 150 metres of a late climb and his struggles ultimately saw him finish down in 25th, with Primoz Roglic crossing the line in first.

But the Dane got the job done this time around – not that he had it all his own way.

It was not until the final 95 kilometres that an initial breakaway formed, though various teams made their moves and ultimately failed to sustain them until the latter stages.

The chances of Jumbo-Visma and INEOS Grenadiers took seismic hits with less than 70km to go as Roglic and Adam Yates were caught up in a crash after a climb. Although both were able to continue, they were effectively out of the running.

EF Education-Nippo held their nerve well and came into their own towards the end as Cort was propelled to victory, though he had to dig deep right to the last as Bagioli tested him in what was essentially a decisive sprint.

Cort subsequently praised his team for such steady work early in the day, with their initially conservative approach paying off as their main man conserved energy following his gruelling efforts on Wednesday.

He said: "We talked about it with the team that we wouldn't do the big bunch sprint, but when the group was reduced, the team wants to support me in these types of stages.

"The whole team did a great job, and I was able to sit back and relax in the first hours when people were fighting for the breakaway.

"Even though I felt the legs a little from yesterday, I managed to get over the two climbs and, in the end, Jens [Keukeleire] did a very amazing job delivering me perfectly for the sprint.

"There were some very good guys, but we wanted to give it a try and I'm super happy to take this win."

Odd Christian Eiking retained the red jersey, with his 58-second gap over Guillaume Martin still in place.


STAGE RESULT

1. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 3:44:21
2. Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) same time
3. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 45:33:18
2. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +0:58
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1:56

Points Classification

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 180
2. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education–Nippo) 114
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 106

King of the Mountains

1. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) 31
2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 27
3. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 17

What's next?

Sprinters will have their chance to shine on the largely flat stage 13 as the race goes from Belmez to Villanueva de la Serena – but they should expect a demanding test, with this part of Extremadura characterised by its often-sweltering conditions.

Primoz Roglic powered clear of the pack in a thrilling conclusion to claim his second stage victory of the 2021 Vuelta a Espana on Wednesday.

The Jumbo-Visma rider crashed on Tuesday but put that behind him by holding off Enric Mas and Miguel Angel Lopez at the end of the 133.6-kilometre stretch from Antequera to Valdepenas de Jaen on stage 11.

Magnus Cort for a while looked as though he would claim a second stage triumph of his own, but he was caught inside the final 150 metres of the uphill climb and eventually finished down in 25th.

Instead, it was Roglic who timed his burst to perfection as he moved away from the main pack and finished three seconds clear of Movistar's Mas.

Roglic stays third in the general classification, one minute and 56 seconds behind Odd Christian Eiking, who is 58s ahead of Guillaume Martin after finishing strongly to end in 10th place.

"It was close again, eh? It was a hard stage," Roglic said after the race. "It was short but super hot again. I was also suffering a lot but luckily at the end I had enough for a win.

"Mas is also really super strong and luckily I had a little more at the end. It's always nice to win. You never know when it's the last one. 

"It was a nice finish with a steep uphill where I can normally do well. 

"It was a nice challenge, and the team did an amazing job pushing hard all day and keeping the breakaway at a distance so big thanks to them."


STAGE RESULT

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 3:11:00
2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +0:03
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) +0:05

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 41:48:57
2. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +0:58
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1:56

Points Classification

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 180
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 101
3. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education–Nippo) 84

King of the Mountains

1. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) 31
2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 22
3. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 17

What's next?

Thursday's stage is another hilly one that starts in Jaen and concludes 175km later in the city of Cordoba. There are two climbs in the final third of the stage, providing a chance to break away. 

Damiano Caruso became the first rider to win a mountain stage in two different grand tours in 2021 as he triumphed at the Vuelta a Espana on Sunday.

On the back of a second-place finish at the Giro d'Italia, Caruso took stage nine, holding off pressure from Enric Mas and general classification leader Primoz Roglic in the process.

Caruso, who won a mountain stage at the Giro, finished 65 seconds clear of two-time defending champion Roglic, with the Slovenian Olympic gold medallist outsprinting Mas to beat the Spaniard by a second.

Roglic's lead in the GC now stands at 28 seconds, with the race's first rest day coming up on Monday.

"We deserve it eh? It was a hard day, again super hot, and some big climbs. I survived it and I'm looking forward for tomorrow," Roglic said at the finish in Alto de Velefique.

"For sure our guys did a great job. INEOS [Grenadiers] put a hard pace on the long climb. It was hard and then here at the end it was quite fast with a big explosion. Luckily, I had OK legs so I could finish it.

"It's a beginning, now we have the rest day, and we just need to stay in one piece healthy with the whole team and then we'll be looking for the next stages."

Mas sits second in the GC standings, with his Movistar team-mate Miguel Angel Lopez almost a minute behind, ahead of Jack Haig.

Miguel Angel Lopez is one minute and 21 seconds behind Roglic in third, with Jack Haig one minute and 42 seconds back in fourth and Giro champion Egan Bernal in fifth.

STAGE RESULT

1. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) 5:03:14
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1:05
3. Enric Mas (Movistar) +1:06
4. Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) +1:44
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) +1:44

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 34:18:53
2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +0:28
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) +1:21

Points Classification

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 180
2. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 164
3. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 74

King of the Mountains

1. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) 28
2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 22
3. Pavel Sivakov (INEOS Grenadiers) 16

What's next?

A rest day in Almeria comes on Monday, with the Vuelta kicking back into gear on Tuesday with a 189m route from Roquetas de Mar to Rincon de la Victoria. It is mostly flat, but a category two climb will separate the contenders before a descent to the finish line.

Primoz Roglic held on to La Roja but saw his Vuelta a Espana lead cut to eight seconds as Michael Storer claimed victory on stage seven.

The first mountain stage of this year's Vuelta promised to shake things up in the general classification pack but two-time defending champion Roglic retained his place in pole position.

However, his lead was trimmed down by 17 seconds in total, with Felix Grossschartner - who finished one minute and 32 seconds behind Storer - closing the gap.

Enric Mas, who was in second, stayed 25 seconds back from Roglic.

The day belonged to Storer, however, with the Team DSM rider powering to victory on the breakaway, finishing 21 seconds clear of Carlos Verona up the Balcon de Alicante, the last of six categorised climbs on Friday.

Storer's aggression paid off with 4km remaining when he countered an attack from Movistar's Verona, who crossed the line 38 seconds ahead of third-placed Pavel Sivakov, who also clinched the lead in the climbers' classification.

Verona's effort capped a difficult day for Movistar, who lost Alejandro Valverde with around 40km of the route remaining.

The Spaniard, who started the day fourth overall, attacked on the Puerto El Colloa, attempting to put his GC rivals onto the back foot, only to spin out of control on a difficult right-hand turn.

Valverde, the 2009 Vuelta champion, crashed through a gap in the barriers and onto the lip of the hillside, though fortunately managed to avoid tumbling over it.

He attempted to carry on after receiving treatment, but could not last and is out of the tour.

STAGE RESULT

1. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 4:10:13
2. Carlos Verona (Movistar) +0:22
3. Pavel Sivakov (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:59
4. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +1:16
5. Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) +1:24

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 25:18:35
2. Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:08
3. Enric Mas (Movistar) +0:25

Points Classification

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 131
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 130
3. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 67

King of the Mountains

1. Pavel Sivakov (INEOS-Grenadiers) 16
2. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 12
3. Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) 11

What's next?

It is back to the flats for stage eight, with a sprint finish into La Manga del Mar Menor rounding off the first week of action.

Primoz Roglic retook the overall lead at the Vuelta a Espana, while Magnus Cort sealed victory in a tightly contested sixth stage.

Cort claimed a breakaway victory up the summit of Alto de la Montana de Cullera following a 158km route on Thursday.

EF Education-Nippo rider Cort finished just ahead of two-time defending champion Roglic, who could not quite catch the Dane up the 1.9km climb.

However, Roglic's efforts proved too much for Kenny Elissonde, who was dropped on the final ascent and had to relinquish La Roja to Slovenia's Olympic gold medallist.

Indeed, Elissonde fell out of the top 10 altogether, with another pre-race favourite – Colombian star Egan Bernal – rising to fifth in the general classification standings, 41 seconds behind Roglic.

Though Roglic's lead at the top of the GC is 25 seconds, the stage victory belonged to Cort.

"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," he said.

"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 Roglic 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."

STAGE RESULT

1. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 3:30:53
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) same time
3. Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck-QuickStep) +0:00:02
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) +0:00:04
5. Enric Mas (Movistar) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 21:04:09
2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +0:25
3. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Movistar) +0:36

Points Classification

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 131
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 130
3. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 67

King of the Mountains

1. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 10
2. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) 7
3. Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) 6

What's next?

A 152km route from Gandia to the Balcon de Alicante takes La Vuelta into the mountains. There are six categorised climbs, including a category one summit finish. This is when Roglic, Alejandro Valverde, Bernal and the other favourites could really break clear.

Fabio Jakobsen sprinted to victory a year after he was in a medically induced coma and Rein Taaramae picked himself up following a late crash on stage four of the Vuelta a Espana to retain the red jersey.

Jakobsen suffered life-threatening injuries in a high-speed smash on the opening stage of the Tour of Poland last year but has made an incredible recovery.

The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider showed great power and speed to take the stage win in Molina de Aragon ahead of Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ), with Magnus Cort (EF Education Nippo) crossing the line in third place.

Dutchman Jakobsen left it late to dart inside Demare for a magnificent victory in an uphill finish at the end of a 163.9 kilometre route from El Burgo de Osma.

Michael Matthews had talked up his chances of winning the stage, but the Australian could not get a clear run and had to settle for fifth place behind Alberto Dainese.

Taaramae was rocked when he went down as the pace was stepped up near the end, yet he remains the race leader by a margin of 25 seconds over Kenny Elissonde as he crashed in the final 3km.

Carlos Canal, Angel Madrazo and Joan Bou spent much the stage at the front after breaking away from the start, but they were caught with 13km to go

Jakobsen said: "It's a dream come true. After the crash, I was a long way back, but I'm happy I'm here.

"A lot of time and effort has gone into this by a lot of people, and it's also their victory. I'm talking about all the doctors and surgeons and medical staff in Poland, through to my second family here with the team, and everything in between.

"It's also their victory. It's also my family's victory because they're the reason I'm here."

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick) 03:43:07 
2. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) same time
3. Magnus Cort (EF Education Nippo) same time
4. Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) same time
5. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 13:08:51
2. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) +0:25
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:30

Points Classification

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 100
2. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 68
3. Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech) 50

King of the Mountains

1. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 10
2. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) 7
3. Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) 6

What's next?

A flat 184.4km stage five from Tarancon to Albacete is likely to end with another sprint finish unless high winds are a major factor.

Rein Taaramae claimed a surprise victory on stage three of the Vuelta a Espana atop Picon Blanco to take the red jersey from Primoz Roglic.

Monday's demanding 202.8 kilometer route saw the first summit finish and Taaramae, whose only stage win at the race came in 2011, saw off some strong climbers to come out on top.

The 34-year-old finished 21 seconds ahead of Joe Dombrowski and Kenny Elissonde was a further 15 seconds back in third as the general classification standings were shaken up.

Previous race leader Roglic drops to third overall after finishing seventh on Monday, 30 seconds behind Taaramae, who is 25 seconds better off than the second-placed Elissonde.

Taaramae is the first Estonian to secure the red jersey after getting the better of an eight-man breakaway. Dombrowski and Lilian Calmejane, who eventually came fourth, took it in turn to attack but Taaramae had the legs to see the job through.

Hugh Carthy, who finished third in this event last year, lost 21 seconds on favourite Roglic, while Olympic road race champion Richard Carapaz is over two minute adrift of the new leader after failing to keep up with the chasing pack.

"Yesterday evening me and my team spoke about winning this stage and taking the leader's jersey," Taaramae said. "I believed in myself today because I'm in a good state. 

"Today was all about whether the peloton would catch us or not. When I saw that we could do it then I had questions about how good 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.

"Red is a big achievement because I'm 34 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 a few days."

STAGE RESULT

1. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 05:16:57 
2. Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) +0:21
3. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) +0:36
4. Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroen Team) +1:16
5. Enric Mas (Movistar) +01.45

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 09:25:44
2. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) +0:25
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:30

Points Classification

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 50
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 50
3. Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech) 50

King of the Mountains

1. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 10
2. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) 7
3. Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) 6

What's next?

Tuesday's stage spans 163.9km from El Burgo de Osma to Molina de Aragon and will once again favour the sprinters.

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