'I want to attack, I have nothing to lose': Egan Bernal set to go on the offensive in final week of Vuelta a España 2021

The two-time Grand Tour winner sits in seventh overall going into the final week

Egan Bernal
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Egan Bernal has said that he wants to go on the attack in the final week of the Vuelta a España 2021 and that he has "nothing to lose".

The former Tour de France and Giro d'Italia winner has looked undercooked throughout this year's Vuelta and currently sits in seventh overall at 4-21 behind overall leader, Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert) and under two minutes to Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) who sits in third.

Speaking after the stage, Bernal said he is ready to go all or nothing in the final week of the race, which contains three summit finishes including two back to back on stages 17 and 18.

>>> Fabio Jakobsen shows his dominance as he takes third Vuelta a España 2021 win on stage 16

"I think the rest [day] was welcome, we needed it, and this stage was good to get the legs going again," Bernal said.

"I would like [to attack Roglič]. I have nothing to lose, I don't care to be fifth or 10th in the overall, but you need to have legs. 

"In the Giro I was attacking from afar even as the leader, which shouldn't be done, but I felt strong and I like to ride like that. Let's see how I feel, if I feel good I'll move. We have a very strong team."

Bernal isn't the only Ineos Grenadiers rider in the top 10 of the general classification as British rider Adam Yates is in eighth place just behind Bernal with him at 4-34 back from Eiking. The British rider made his intent clear on stage 15 before the rest day, when he gained around 15 seconds on the other GC contenders with a late attack.

"Yates is also very well, I see him very strong," Bernal said. "The problem is that we have lost two riders.

"Pavel [Sivakov], Dylan [van Baarle] and [Salvatore] Puccio are doing a very good job to carry us, I don't know if they are going to be at their best tomorrow. But let's try it."

Bernal and his Ineos team-mates have their first chance to take time back on stage 17 where the race heads for a summit finish up to the famous climb of the Lagos de Covadonga. That comes after two ascents of the Collada Llomena climb, with the second accent having bonus seconds of three, two, and one at the top.

The next day the riders face a similar mountainous profile, with a summit finish to Altu d’El Gamoniteiru one of the few remaining opportunities for the likes of Bernal to take time on Roglič ahead of the race's final time trial on Sunday.

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Tim Bonville-Ginn

Hi, I'm one of Cycling Weekly's content writers for the web team responsible for writing stories on racing, tech, updating evergreen pages as well as the weekly email newsletter. Proud Yorkshireman from the UK's answer to Flanders, Calderdale, go check out the cobbled climbs!

I started watching cycling back in 2010, before all the hype around London 2012 and Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France. In fact, it was Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck's battle in the fog up the Tourmalet on stage 17 of the Tour de France.

It took me a few more years to get into the journalism side of things, but I had a good idea I wanted to get into cycling journalism by the end of year nine at school and started doing voluntary work soon after. This got me a chance to go to the London Six Days, Tour de Yorkshire and the Tour of Britain to name a few before eventually joining Eurosport's online team while I was at uni, where I studied journalism. Eurosport gave me the opportunity to work at the world championships in Harrogate back in the awful weather.

After various bar jobs, I managed to get my way into Cycling Weekly in late February of 2020 where I mostly write about racing and everything around that as it's what I specialise in but don't be surprised to see my name on other news stories.

When not writing stories for the site, I don't really switch off my cycling side as I watch every race that is televised as well as being a rider myself and a regular user of the game Pro Cycling Manager. Maybe too regular.

My bike is a well used Specialized Tarmac SL4 when out on my local roads back in West Yorkshire as well as in northern Hampshire with the hills and mountains being my preferred terrain.