Another climbing one-man show from Jonas Vinegaard (Jumbo-Visma) saw the 2-time winner of the Tour de France win stage 16 of La Vuelta 23 atop the unprecedented climb to Bejes. The Dane attacked with 4 kilometres to go and opened a gap of more than a minute to his rivals in the overall standings. On the eve of the Alto de l’Angliru, Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) retained La Roja but Vingegaard moved much closer. He now trails by 29’’ in GC. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) is now 3rd, with a gap of 1’33’’, while Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) trails by 2’33’’.
After a well deserved rest day, the peloton of La Vuelta 23 return to action with the third week leading the riders to Madrid over iconic summits such as the Angliru. Stage 16 is a short (119.1) and explosive one, with an unprecedented finish in Bejes, atop a short and steep climb (4.8km at 8.8%, with a maximum gradient of 15%).
A very intense battle for the break
Such terrain inspires many attackers. A group of 10 rapidly set off but Ineos Grenadiers drive a strong chase to reel them in after 41km. The battle keeps going at a very hard pace, with 48.2km covered in the first hour.
After more attempts, six attackers eventually make the break halfway through the stage: Mattia Cattaneo (Soudal Quick-Ste), Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Julius van den Berg (EF Edcuation-EasyPost), Nicolas Prodhomme (AG2R Citroën), Max Poole (DSM-Firmenich) and Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).
Vingegaard sets off
The break goes, but Jumbo-Visma control the gap under 1’20’’. Groves makes the most of the intermediate sprint (Unquera, km 92.3) and then waits for the bunch. Cattaneo also drops back as the gap is down to 30’’ with 21km to go. Van den Berg, Prodhomme, Poole and Nicolau are eventually caught 10km away from the line.
Jumbo-Visma drive the peloton onto the final climb and Jonas Vingegaard attacks with 4km to go. The Danes increase the gaps until his teammate Primoz Roglic reacts with a bit more than one kilometre to go. While Finn Fisher-Black (UAE Team Emirates) comes 2nd (+43’’), Vingegaard gains more than a minute on his GC contenders and moves to the 2nd position overall, 29’’ behind Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma).