Ackermann collects his first La Vuelta win
October 29 th 2020 - 17:47 [GMT + 1]
The second sprint finish of La Vuelta 2020 saw Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) claim his first La Vuelta stage victory in Aguilar de Campoo. Already winner of two stages of the Giro, Ackermann took his third Grand Tour victory ahead of Gerben Thijssen (Lotto Soudal) and Max Kanter (Team Sunweb). Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick Step) went first through the finish but the Irishman was relegated to the last place due to an irregular sprint. Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) survived the day without problems to retain La Roja.
The 157 riders who made their way to the finish atop Alto de Moncalvillo on day 8 roll out from Castrillo del Val, next to Burgos, where La Vuelta will return in 2021 for the first stages of the 76th edition and a spectacular start inside the Cathedral. Aritz Bagües (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Juan Felipe Osorio (Burgos-BH) attack as soon as the flag drops. Their lead is already over 3 minutes at km 9 as the peloton take it easy in the first part of the stage.
Sprinter teams get into action at the front of the bunch as the gap hits a maximum of 5’14’’ after 20km. Deceuninck-Quick Step are the most involved in the chase, as they already won stage 4 with Sam Bennett. UAE Team Emirates and Bahrain-McLaren also participate to control the gap around 3 minutes for most of the stage.
Tension ahead of the sprint
Total Direct Energie also participate as the race enters the last 50km. The gap is down to 50’’ when the riders cross the finish line for the first time and tackle a 34.4km loop around Aguilar de Campoo. The attackers are eventually reeled in with 22km to the finish. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) sustains a mechanical with 13km to go but he quickly returns to the bunch with the help of Paul Martens.
The tension picks up in the final kilometres, with Bora-Hansgrohe and Lotto Soudal putting the hammer down to set the sprint. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick Step) hits Emils Liepins (Trek-Segafredo) with his shoulder ahead of a strong sprint. The Irishman is thus relegated and Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) takes the win with a very small margin ahead of Gerben Thijssen (Lotto Soudal).