After Deceuninck-Quick Step pulled for 200km to lead Fabio Jakobsen to another La Vuelta stage win, exactly two years after he took the first one, the Dutch sprinter lost his train in the streets of Villanueva de la Serena.
But that didn’t prevent the Wolfpack from claiming success on day 13 as lead-out man Florian Sénéchal turned into a leader to power to victory ahead of Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates).
Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) survived the day in the valley to retain La Roja ahead of a brutal summit finish at Pico Villuercas.
After three eventful hilly stages, La Vuelta 21 is back on flat terrain with 203.7km to cover from Belmez to Villanueva de la Serena. 165 riders return to action, without the Spanish national champion Omar Fraile (suffering from a back injury, according to Astana-Premier Tech) and the German national champion Maximilian Schachmann (who struggled with the heat, Bora-Hansgrohe reported).
No room for the break
Three attackers jump away from the bunch right at the start: Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH), Alvaro Cuadros (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Luis Angel Mate (Euskaltel-Euskadi).
They quickly open a 2’15’’ gap but Fabio Jakobsen’s Deceuninck-Quick Step are already in action after 11km to control the stage. Arnaud Démare’s Groupama-FDJ and Alberto Dainese’s Team DSM join them at the helm of the bunch and the gap never gets higher than 2’50’’ at km 50.
Jakobsen can’t sprint
The peloton briefly splits with a brutal acceleration into the last 60km. There are about 30 riders at the front, including the overall leader Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux) and Fabio Jakobsen with his green jersey. But everyone gets back together 5km later. Riders are now wary of potential echelons but the situation settles.
The attackers are reeled in 28.5km away from the line. Deceuninck-Quick Step up the pace in the twisty final 5km and splits open again. Jakobsen loses the wheels. Alberto Dainese anticipates the sprint. But Florian Sénéchal (Deceuninck-Quick Step) takes over and resists Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) to win the stage. – www.lavuelta.es