Romain Bardet solos to first victory in three years

The Frenchman attacked away on the final climb of the Picón Blanco and held on to the finish despite crash on descent

Romain Bardet wins stage three of the Vuelta a Burgos 2021
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Romain Bardet managed to hold on to his first win in three years at the Vuelta a Burgos 2021 as well as taking the overall lead despite crashing on the descent of the final climb.

The Team DSM rider managed to distance Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), Domenico Pozzovivo (Qhubeka-NextHash) and Mikel Nieve (BikeExchange) on the climb of the Picón Blanco, which will be a summit finish at this year's Vuelta a España.

Bardet went solo over the top and went into his preferred terrain of the descent and managed to pull out his gap to the chasers who aren't as strong on the downhill. Fortunately for the Frenchman, he had enough gap to win by 39 seconds even after crashing.

It was his first win since he took the 2018 one-day race, Faun Environnement-Classic de l'Ardèche Rhône Crussol.

>>> Red Walters becomes first stagiaire in new diversity initiative set up by Hagens Berman Axeon and Tao Geoghegan Hart

Speaking after the stage, Bardet said: "We knew it was maybe the hardest climb of the week so we wanted to try something as a team,

"The guys put me in a really good position at the bottom of the climb and I really had good legs today. We came here for day results and the goal was to win a stage so we’ve done that."

The climb of the Picón Blanco will be the first summit finish at the Vuelta a España 2021 as it arrives on stage three with the 7.9km climb with an average gradient of 9.2 per cent

"I felt that I could jump and go on my own on the climb, as we knew I was good on the downhill. Then I got that stupid crash because I went a bit too fast around the corner but I managed to get back on my bike as soon as possible, and I made it to the finish. 

"It was a really nice climb, with some really steep roads but it was pretty tactical with the headwind so I decided to wait until the last moment to do my attack. We’ll take it day by day now. Tomorrow is a good opportunity for Alberto [Dainese] in the sprint and then we’ll see if we can defend the jersey on Saturday."

Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) finished 53 seconds down on his own after losing touch to the main group of GC riders in the final few 100 metres. British stars Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) and Hugh Carthy (EF-Nippo) both finished almost eight minutes down. 

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

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.