Astana’s Jakob Fuglsang claimed victory on stage 16 of the Vuelta a Espana at Alto de la Cubilla in the misty Asturias mountains today.
It was the first Grand Tour stage victory of the Dane’s career.
Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Ineos) took second, 20 second down, with Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) third, a further four seconds adrift.
“It’s a great feeling. Winning a stage in the Vuelta was one of my goals and I’m super happy,” said Fuglsang.
“They told me on the radio that Luis and I should hold out for the first 10km of the climb and then go stronger.
“I had energy when Gianluca [Brambilla] came. I was controlling Geoghegan Hart, too. I waited and waited until I was close, to attack to win this stage at the finish line. I made a change of pace and left them.
“It’s clear that this was one of my goals, but it’s one thing to have one goal and another to achieve it. I’m very happy.”
Slovenia’s Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) extended his overall lead, but second-placed Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) struggled and lost 23 seconds.
Just ahead of the first climb, the Puerto de San Lorenzo, a four-man breakaway group formed which consisted of Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), teammate James Knox, Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida) and Romain Seigle (Groupama-FDJ).
A group of 15 riders soon joined the leaders on the climb.
Geoffrey Bouchard (Ag2r La Mondiale) led the 19-man break over the top of the Alto de la Cobertoria after a late attack.
With about 9km to go until the break hit the climb to the finish, Bouchard, Seigle, Fuglsang, Thomas de Gendt (Lotto Soudal) and Philippe Gilbert (Movistar) went off the front of the break.
The five were joined by Knox, Sanchez, Geoghegan Hart, Valerio Conti (UAE Team Emirates) and Fernando Barcelo (Euskadi-Murias).
Angel Madrazo (Burgos BH) made his way to the group as they started the climb to the finish.
With under 10km to the end Fuglsang, Sanchez, Knox, Geoghegan Hart and Gianluca Brambilla (Trek-Segafredo) attacked the leading break group, with Amanuel Ghebreizhabier (Team Dimension Data) chasing.
Three kilometres later Fuglsang and Brambilla were off on their own. Fuglsang then dropped Brambilla, with Geoghegan Hart in pursuit.
Geoghegan Hart was 15 seconds down on Fuglsang with less than 2km to the line, but the latter ultimately prevailed.
View more results below.
Stage 16 results
1. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 4:01:22
2. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Ineos +0:00:22
3. Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team +0:00:40
4. James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-Quick-Step +0:00:42
5. Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-Segafredo +0:01:12
6. Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal +0:02:09
7. Mikel Bizkarra Etxegibel (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias +0:02:15
8. Amanuel Ghebreigziabiher (Eri) Dimension Data +0:02:21
38. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data +0:08:32
126. Willie Smit (RSA) Katusha-Alpecin
128. Nicholas Dlamini (RSA) Dimension Data +0:28:04
129. Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 62:17:52
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team +0:02:48
3. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates +0:03:42
4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team +0:03:59
5. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe +0:07:40
6. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team +0:07:43
7. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits +0:10:27
8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb +0:10:34
9. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal +0:10:40
10. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida +0:12:05
39. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data +1:18:42
97. Nicholas Dlmanini (RSA) Dimension Data +2:32:03
105. Willie Smit (RSA) Katusha-Alpecin +2:44:13
131. Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data +3:08:00