Cort claims more success for EF
November 6 th 2020 - 17:25 [GMT + 1]
Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Pro Cycling) won stage 16 of La Vuelta after a very intense day of racing from Salamanca to Ciudad Rodrigo. The Danish all-rounder dominated the sprint in a small bunch ahead of Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) to take his third victory on the roads of La Vuelta, 4 years after he won the final sprint in Madrid. Roglic takes 6 bonus seconds to increase his lead on GC. Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) trails by 45’’ on the eve of the final mountain stage. This is EF Pro Cycling’s third victory in this edition, after Michael Woods and Hugh Carthy already claimed success.
The race starts from Salamanca with 144 riders and without Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana), who has to withdraw for personal reasons. Everyone seems to be wary of the crosswinds on open roads. The biggest teams control the race until Angel Madrazo opens a gap at km 15. He is quickly joined at the front by his Burgos-BH teammate Juan Felipe Osorio.
Another rider from the Spanish team participates in the day’s breakaway when Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-Scott), Kobe Goossens (Lotto Soudal) and Jesus Ezquerra (Burgos-BH) join Angel Madrazo and Juan Felipe Osorio at km 31. Julen Amezqueta (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Willie Smit (Burgos-BH) also try to bridge the gap to the front group, unsuccessfully.
Ineos Grenadiers put the hammer down
Bora-Hansgrohe and UAE Team Emirates control the gap around 5 minutes as the race situation settles on the way to the first climb of the day, the cat-2 Puerto El Portillo (summit at km 90.8). Ineos Grenadiers up the ante in the final kilometres of ascent and even more on the downhill, with Andrey Amador setting a very hard pace for Richard Carapaz.
The peloton reach the bottom of the Puerto El Robledo (11.7km, 3.8%) with a gap of 1'20''. Rémi Cavagna attacks at the front ahead of the 5 last, steepest kilometres of ascent. Robert Stannard (Mitchelton-Scott) follows him. But the gap is down to 24’’ at the summit, with 35km to the line.
The Cavagna show
The Movistar-led peloton even bring the gap down under 10’’ for the last 25km to go but the attackers don’t give up. Cavagna goes solo with 17km to the finish. His lead is up to 15’’ with 10km to go, and 17’’ with 5km to go…
The Frenchman is eventually reeled in with 2km to go. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) opens up the sprint but Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Pro Cycling) powers to victory ahead of Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Rui Costa (UAE Team Emirates).