Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark on Monday made a solo charge on the final climb to win the 16th stage of the Vuelta a Espana, while Primoz Roglic finished strongly to increase his overall lead.
It was a first stage victory in a Grand Tour race for Fuglsang, who finished 22 seconds in front of Tao Geoghegan Hart of Team Ineos and 40 seconds ahead of Astana’s Luis Leon Sanchez.
“To win a stage was one of my goals coming here, as well as helping the team and building my shape for the last part of the season, but one thing is to have a goal, another thing is to achieve it. I’m super happy with this win,” Fuglsang said.
“It’s been my best season ever. To win my first Grand Tour stage is really special,” the Astana rider added.
Team Jumbo-Visma’s Roglic held on to the leader’s red jersey for the seventh straight day by fending off late attacks by his closest challengers, including Miguel Angel Lopez of Astana and Tadej Pogacar of UAE Team Emirates.
They all finished nearly six minutes behind Fuglsang.
“It was a hard day with a long last climb, and a good day for us in the end,” the former ski jumper from Slovenia said.
“I don’t fear the last stages, I’m looking forward to them,” Roglic said.
“I’m enjoying the race, and so far it’s going really good for me and the team,” he added.
Roglic added 23 seconds to his lead over veteran Spaniard Alejandro Valverde of Movistar, who could not keep up on the final climb of the 144km stage that finished with a hors categorie summit at the Alto de la Cubilla.
Pogacar and Lopez were nearly four minutes off the overall lead.
The riders yesterday got their final day off before facing the decisive stretch of the three-week Grand Tour that finishes in the Spanish capital on Sunday.