Vuelta a España: Fabio Jakobsen says he didn’t have the legs to sprint on stage 13

The Dutchman was dropped by his own lead-out train in the final

Fabio Jakobsen on stage 13 of the Vuelta a España
(Image credit: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Fabio Jakobsen admitted he didn’t have the legs to follow his lead-out train on stage 13 of the Vuelta a España. 

The Dutchman was the favourite to take the sprint on the flat run from Belmez to Villanueva de la Serena, having already won two stages in this year’s race.

But in the rapid run to the finish, Jakobsen’s Deceuninck - Quick-Step team-mates set a blistering pace through the roundabouts and sharp turns, stringing the bunch out with 3km to ride. 

At the 2.5km mark Deceuninck caused a split near the front of the bunch on a fast right-hand turn, with Jakobsen forced to close down too many gaps.

Then with 1.5km to the line, Jakobsen’s legs gave out, as he slipped off the back of his train, leaving his lead-out to fight for the victory, with Florian Sénéchal doing the job in Jakobsen’s place.

While Sénéchal said after the finish he believed his sprinter had suffered a puncture in the final, Jakobsen has now revealed he just didn’t have the legs to keep up with his train.

Speaking after the stage, Jakobsen said: “I tried to close the gap but I couldn’t. 

“I didn’t have the legs to sprint, so I told Florian he should do the sprint.” 

It was a remarkable turnaround for Deceuninck, who have been phenomenally consistent in the sprint stages at this Vuelta.

Jakobsen, who is still leading the points classification after the stage, already has two stage wins and two second-place finishes to his name in this race. 

He now leads the points competition by 86 points over Magnus Cort, with eight stages still to race.

>>> Vuelta a España 2021 route: Nine summit finishes and no Madrid finale in this year's edition 

But the Vuelta’s brutal final week could turn the tables, as the Spanish Grand Tour traditionally favours the climbers in the points classification.

Primož Roglič is currently third in the green jersey race on 106 points, 94 behind Jakobsen, which means it could be a close fight for the jersey in the final week. 

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.