Clément Champoussin (AG2R-Citroën Team) took his first pro win on Saturday, atop the climb of Castro de Herville, after an incredible stage 20 in the Galician hills.
After an all day battle, the Frenchman was caught by the GC contenders on the final ascent of the day but he kicked again with 1.6km to go and snatched the victory ahead of Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) and Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious), who climbs on the overall podium after Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar Team) and Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) didn’t follow a key attack with 60km to go.
On Sunday, La Vuelta 21 finishes with a time-trial to Santiago de Compostela.
The peloton of La Vuelta 21 face a final mountain stage with almost 3,500m of elevation and four categorised climb on Galician roads ahead of the final ascent to the summit finish at Alto Castro de Herville. 143 riders roll from Sanxenxo without Oier Lazkano (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech), who suffered crashes in the previous days.
After an intense battle, a 16-man breakaway gets together at km 42: Lilian Calmejane, Clément Champoussin, Stan Dewulf (AG2R-Citroën Team), Floris de Tier (Alpecin-Fenix), Mark Padun (Bahrain Victorious), Dani Navarro (Burgos-BH), Jesus Herrada (Cofidis), Mikel Bizkarra (Euskaltel Euskadi), Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Sylvain Moniquet (Lotto Soudal), Nick Schultz (Team BikeExchange), Romain Bardet, Chris Hamilton, Michael Storer (Team DSM), Ryan Gibbons, Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates).
With no GC threat at the front, Jumbo-Visma take it easy in the peloton. The gap increases to almost 12’ before Ineos Grenadiers up the pace on the first climb of the day, the cat-3 Alto de Vilachan, inside the last 100km. They bring the gap down to 5’ over the next climb, the cat-2 Alto de Mabia.
The race situation is turned upside down on the main climb of the day, the cat-1 Alto de Mougas: 9.9km, 6.3%. After a series of attacks and counter-attacks, five riders emerge from the GC group with 60km to go: Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma), Enric Mas (Movistar Team), Jack Haig, with Gino Mäder (Bahrain Victorious), and Simon Yates (Ineos Grenadiers). Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar Team), 3rd overall, and Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers), best young rider, are not in that group.
At the front, Gibbons goes solo on the downhill, with more than 50km to go. He goes over the cat-2 Alto de Prado with a gap of 55’’ to a first chase group, led by Bardet and Storer. Padun drops to the GC group, to help Haig climb on the overall podium and Mäder take the white jersey. The Lopez-Bernal group are 4’ behind.
They catch the chasers at the bottom of the final climb (9.9km, 4.8%), Gibbons is still 1’45’’ ahead. Gibbons is caught inside the last 5km and after a series of attacks, Champoussin goes all in with 1.6km to go and resists Primoz Roglic on the line. Meanwhile, Lopez abandons. –www.lavuelta.es
|1||PRIMOŽ ROGLIČ||1||JUMBO – VISMA||83H 11′ 27”||–||B : 46”||–|
|2||ENRIC MAS||171||MOVISTAR TEAM||83H 14′ 05”||+ 00H 02′ 38”||B : 14”||–|
|3||JACK HAIG||44||BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS||83H 16′ 15”||+ 00H 04′ 48”||–||–|
|4||ADAM YATES||138||INEOS GRENADIERS||83H 17′ 15”||+ 00H 05′ 48”||B : 4”||–|
|5||GINO MÄDER||45||BAHRAIN VICTORIOUS||83H 19′ 41”||+ 00H 08′ 14”||–||–|
|6||EGAN ARLEY BERNAL||131||INEOS GRENADIERS||83H 23′ 05”||+ 00H 11′ 38”||B : 3”||–|
|7||SEPP KUSS||6||JUMBO – VISMA||83H 25′ 09”||+ 00H 13′ 42”||B : 6”||–|
|8||GUILLAUME MARTIN||81||COFIDIS||83H 27′ 38”||+ 00H 16′ 11”||–||–|
|9||DAVID DE LA CRUZ||221||UAE TEAM EMIRATES||83H 27′ 46”||+ 00H 16′ 19”||B : 1”||–|
|10||FELIX GROSSSCHARTNER||51||BORA – HANSGROHE||83H 31′ 57”||+ 00H 20′ 30”||–||–|