Vingegaard Climbs to Victory in Stage 16 of Vuelta a Espana 2023
Following Monday’s second rest day of this year’s Vuelta a Espana, stage 16 invited the Vuelta peloton to an intense battle on a short 120.1-kilometer route from Liencres Playa to Bejes in northern Spain.
The riders appeared well-rested and highly motivated after a well-deserved rest day, so the race got off to a fast start with multiple attacks launched not least by riders from the many teams who had yet to win stage in La Vuelta a España 2023.
A large breakaway group was established, but the Ineos-Grenadiers team had no riders in the group, so they initiated a fierce chase to reel in the breakaway hopefuls. Their effort proved successful and riders such as Geraint Thomas and Jonathan Castroviejo delivered a decisive effort at the front of the peloton.
It started raining and - after being reunited - the stretched-out peloton was riding at a fast pace while putting on rain jackets. With seventy kilometers left, new breakaway attempts were still being launched.
With fifty kilometers left it had stopped raining, the sun was shining, and a six-man breakaway group had established an attack. The group featured Mattia Cattaneo (Soudal-QuickStep), Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Julius van den Berg (EF Education-EasyPost), Nicolas Prodhomme (AG2R-Citroen), Max Poole (Team DSM), and Joel Nicolau (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA).
The group had a one-minute lead over the chasing peloton and Ineos-Grenadiers were again active as they did not have any riders in the breakaway. Jumbo-Visma took over the lead in the peloton after Ineos-Grenadiers gave up the chase.
With 35 kilometers left it appeared the breakaway group was being kept on a tight leash and the Jumbo-Visma team appeared interested in fighting for the stage victory. Likely their appetite for an additional stage victory had been caused by their rider Nathan Van Hooydonck being involved in a car crash this morning and him being kept in artificial coma.
Twenty kilometers remained and the advantage of the front group had been reduced to just thirty-five seconds and four men as Groves and Cattaneo had decided to wait for the peloton.
It started raining again as the riders approached the climb that would take them to the finish line.
With ten kilometers left, the attack group was caught by the chasing peloton.
Jumbo-Visma’s Attila Valter led the peloton onto the final climb of the day. His teammates Jonas Vingegaard, Sepp Kuss and Primoz Roglic followed him.
Vingegaard attacked with 3.7 kilometers remaining. Bahrain-Victorious’ Wout Poels counterattacked as did Finn Fisher-Black for his UAE Team Emirates.
Denmark’s Vingegaard crossed the finish line as winner of stage 16 of Vuelta a Espana 2023. His finish time was 02:38:23. Fisher-Black crossed the finish line in second place 43 seconds later, while Poels completed the stage podium 49 seconds after the winning Dane.
Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ) finished fourth, Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) fifth, Enric Mas (Movistar Team) sixth, and Primoz Roglic eighth. Mikel Landa was ninth, while Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) and Kuss completed the top 10. UAE Team Emirates’ Joao Almeida was eleventh.
In the general classification Kuss remains overall race leader, but teammate Vingegaard reduced his lead and moved into second place. Vingegaard is now 29 seconds behind the American race leader. Roglic is third, 01:33 minutes back, while Ayuso is fourth, 02:33 minutes behind. Mas is fifth, Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) sixth, and Landa secenth.
Wednesday’s stage 17 of La Vuelta a Espana 2023 will be a 124.4-kilometer mountain stage. The riders in the Vuelta peloton are anxiously awaiting the stage which is expected to have a decisive influence on the general classification of this year’s La Vuelta. The stage begins in Ribadesella Ribeseya, features two Category 1 climbs, and concludes on the legendary Altu de l’Angliru mountain, which is classified as Hors Categorie (Outside category) because of its grueling incline percentages of up to 17.3 percent.
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