Primož Roglič took stage 11 victory ahead of Enric Mas at the Vuelta a España 2021 in an incredible ride to the line up the final wall-like climb.
Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) waited until the final 150 metres to unleash his acceleration to the line putting time into everyone including Enric Mas (Movistar).
The day was won by the peloton after the break was not allowed any decent time gaps. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) was the last man to be caught from the break but he was hunted down by a flying bunch.
Odd Christian Eiking managed to keep the red jersey ahead of Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Roglič still in third.
How it happened
The day started in the town of Antequera before travelling 133.6km to a brutal 20 per cent kick in the final kilometre in Valdepeñas de Jaén.
Five riders went up the road and pulled out a four-minute gap with Edward Planckaert (Alpecin-Fenix), Joan Bou (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo), Harm Vanhoucke (Lotto-Soudal) and Jonathan Lastra (Caja Rural).
Angel Madrazo (Burgos-BH) tried to get away after the break had settled down, but he was not allowed to get across with the teams of Jumbo-Visma and Ineos Grenadiers closing him down with a lot of complaints from the Spaniard.
The race was controlled early on by the team of the new race leader, Eiking but the pace did change with Roglič’s team, Jumbo-Visma hitting the front with Team BikeExchange with Ineos Grenadiers and Movistar adding to the pacing with 30km to go.
At that point the break was still holding around 1-25 on the peloton but it was slowly being hacked away. With 19km to go the race started to head downhill again with Movistar, Ineos and Astana-Premier Tech taking full control as the gap to the break plummeted under a minute.
The penultimate climb saw Cort go solo from the break again with 16km to go with 44 seconds on the rapid peloton. With 9km to go David De La Cruz (UAE Team Emirate) put in an attack but he was not able to stay away from the chasing bunch.
Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) attacked hard over the top to take second on the climb and more points on his mountain jersey but he was also working hard for his leader, Jack Haig.
Cort went over the top with 23 seconds with 7km to go as Ineos Grenadiers retook the lead of the peloton with Egan Bernal in second wheel. But Dylan van Baarle wasn’t wanting to put Bernal under any risks so the gap went back out to 30 seconds up to Cort with 4km to go.
As he hit the bottom of the descent, Jumbo-Visma, BikeExchange and Movistar all came flying to the front of the peloton which saw Cort’s gap tumble to 16 seconds as he went under the flamme rouge.
Sepp Kuss came up to guide Roglič up the climb with 19 seconds splitting the peloton and Cort as Mas tried to put in an attack. Roglič tried to follow the Spaniard which he was able to do.
Cort still held a small lead as the GC riders looked at each other but the final sprint came from Mas who kicked hard. But Roglič was able to hit around where he took the stage and put time into everyone.
Stage 12 is another tough hilly stage starting in Jaén before finishing in the city of Córdoba after a very hilly 175km with two climbs in the final third of the stage looking like another perfect day for the breakaway.
Vuelta a Espana stage 11, Antequera to Valdepeñas de Jaén (133.6km)
- Primož Roglič (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma, in 3-11-00
- Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar Team, at 3s
- Miguel Ángel López (Col) Movistar, at 5s
- Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious, at 7s
- Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
- Romain Bardet (Fra) Team DSM
- Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
- Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech, all at same time
- Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos Grenadiers, at 11 seconds
- Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, at same time
General classification after stage 11
1. Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux, in 41-48-57
2. Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis, at 58s
3. Primož Roglič (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma, at 1-56
4. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar Team, at 2-31
5. Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious, at 3-55
6. Egan Bernal (Col) Ineos Grenadiers, at 4-46
7. Adam Yates (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers, at 4-57
8. Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma, at 5-03
9. Felix Großschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 5-38
10. Aleksandr Vlasov (Rus) Astana-Premier Tech, at 6-08
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