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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, August 20, 2021

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Vuelta a España stage six reports

We posted the organizer's report with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Magnus Cort Nielsen's EF Education-Nippo team:

“I looked back with 150 meters to go and I could see him coming. I sprinted with everything I had, and luckily could keep him behind me.”

Despite Primoz Roglic’s best efforts, our very own Magnus Cort was victorious in La Vuelta’s most exciting stage yet. Today, atop the famed and feared Alto de la Montaña de Cullera, our Dane proved that his talent and grit goes even deeper than we thought.

Magnus Nielsen

Magnis Cort Nielsen takes the stage ahead of Primoz Roglic. Sirotti photo

“Only one rider in the peloton could have pulled off what Magnus Cort just did. And that’s Magnus Cort,” said Team CEO Jonathan Vaughters.

Vaughters knows that Cort is one of the most underrated riders in the professional peloton. Perhaps you recognize the sprinter who has earned some impressive stage wins throughout his career. The 28-year-old pro has accolades that include a win at the Tour de France in 2018 and two Vuelta a España victories in 2016. With our team, he took two stages in 2020 and won a stage at this year’s Route d’Occitanie, after pulling off a successful attack in the final kilometer.

It’s fair if you thought that Cort was a skilled sprinter — and that was his only speciality. But today, he proved just how versatile he is and how well he works under pressure.

“This one is special for me in a very different way. The stages I win are always in sprints and I’m very happy to show I can also do it in other terrains and finish off a breakaway like this today,” said Cort.

The route for stage six was 158.3-kilometers long with a rolling start followed by a stretch of flat roads. Magnus spent the day in a strong breakaway battling the winds and for most of the race, it looked like someone in the break was bound to win it. But in the closing 100-kilometers, the peloton turned on another gear and quickly started to eat into the gap. With the final climb looming, it was anyone’s guess who was going to take the stage win.

The final climb – a category three climb of two kilometers – was a totally different test of will and strength. It offered a 9.4 percent gradient, and even though the group of GC favorites (including the likes of defending Vuelta champ Primoz Roglic) looked like they were about to come close, it was clear that no one was beating Magnus Cort today.

“He has an incredible ability to keep going flat out even when he’s incredibly fatigued,” said Vaughters.

Cheers to Magnus and team on this unforgettable victory. We can’t wait to see what else this year’s Vuelta has in store for you.

Here's the report from GC leader Primoz Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team:

Primoz Roglic has regained the red jersey in the Vuelta a España. The leader of Team Jumbo-Visma crossed the line in second place on the Alto de la Montaña de Cullera.

Primoz Roglic

Primoz Roglic is back in red. Sirotti photo

The wind played a major role in the short stage through the Valencia region. Team Jumbo-Visma kept Roglic in the front in the nervous peloton. On the final climb Roglic finished just behind stage winner Magnus Cort, the only rider left from an early breakaway. The Slovenian did a good job regarding his GC as he slightly extended his lead over his closest rivals.

“I wasn’t really concerned with the stage win today”, Roglic said. “Magnus was very strong and he deserved the win. For myself and the team it was mainly a matter of getting to the finish line safely. I felt good so I pulled another sprint. I am happy with the time gained.”

Tomorrow the Vuelta continues with the first real mountain stage. Roglic looked ahead with confidence. “I expect another big fight. It’s a difficult stage and difficult to control, but I have confidence in myself and the team. We will have to stay sharp and focused.”

Here's the report from third-place Andrea Bagioli's Deceuninck-Quick Step team:

Cullera made a return as stage finish at the Vuelta for the first time in 41 years, but unlike four decades ago, the peloton went all the way up the climb to the castle, which before Thursday head featured only on one other race, the 2020 edition of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana. Averaging 9.4% over 1.9km, this short but excruciating ascent splintered a peloton that was already reduced by the crosswinds which wreaked havoc in the final 40 kilometers of the race.

Having been protected by his Deceuninck – Quick-Step teammates on the exposed Valencian roads, Andrea Bagioli started the climb in a very good position, which allowed him to be in a good position as soon as the road tilted upwards. With one kilometer to go, the 22-year-old Italian was with a small group of favourites, from where he put in a strong effort and an equally strong acceleration to take a remarkable third, behind Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma).

Andrea Bagioli

Andrea Bagioli finishing third. Sirotti photo

“I was confident in my chances at the start of the day and the team worked really hard for me. The climb was a hard one, offering no moment of respite, but I felt good and gave my best, despite arriving there after some full gas 70 kilometers. I am satisfied with this podium, but winning would have been better. It’s our fifth top 3 finish since the start of La Vuelta and we hope to bring more good results in the next days”, said after stage 6 Andrea Bagioli, the first rider to wear the white jersey at this editon.

And here's the Vuelta report from Egan Bernal's INEOS Grenadiers team:

Following a battle in the crosswinds on the approach to the final climb up to Cullera, kicked off by Tom Pidcock and Jhonatan Narvaez, the peloton had regrouped but the pace remained incredibly high.

The Grenadiers hit the front for the lead in, with Dylan van Baarle putting in a huge turn, before Narvaez took off, positioning Bernal ahead of the brutal last kilometre.

Yet Magnus Cort (EFN) would stay away by the smallest of margins from the chasing bunch, as the sole survivor from the day's break, with Bernal crossing the line seventh, a few seconds back. Primoz Roglic finished second to retake the race lead and eke out a few more seconds in the battle for the overall.

Adam Yates and Richard Carapaz came home just behind, as the two kilometre climb caused numerous fractions across the bunch.

Egan Bernal:
“The stage has been very hard from the beginning with a full gas start. It was windy and it was a very nervous stage.

"The truth is that you have to try, if you are ahead and see the opportunity you have to do it. A Grand Tour can not only be won on the mountains or the TT but on any terrain, and it can also be lost.

"We wanted to start the climb in a good position, we were going so fast we could barely keep up with Jon [Jonathan Narvaez]! I'm happy with the result.”

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