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Wednesday, September 7, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval. - George Santayana

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Primoz Roglic abandons Vuelta

Roglic's Jumbo-Visma team posted this short note on Twitter:

"Unfortunately, @rogla will not be at the start of stage 17 as a consequence of yesterday’s crash. Get well soon, champion! Thank you for all the beautiful moments in this Vuelta. You had ambitious plans for the final days, but sadly it isn’t meant to be."

Roglic was sitting in second place in the GC standings, 1min 26sec behind leader Remco Evenepoel.

Primoz Roglic finishes stage 16 escorted by teammate Mike Teunissen. Sirotti photo

Vuelta a España stage 16 reports

We posted the race organizer's report with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Mads Pederesen's Team Trek-Segafredo:

It was a tranquil race for 170 of the 189 kilometers of Stage 16, which all changed with the first climb at 15 kilometers to go and culminated with a dramatic 2.5-kilometer rise to the line.

Similar to Stage 13, it was a stage suited perfectly to the red-hot Mads Pedersen, and before the race, he made a promise to his teammate Alex Kirsch.

In the end, Mads delivered – but it was not as straightforward as he would have liked!

Mads Pedersen wins stage 16. Sirotti photo

“I promised Kirsch to win today.  He missed the birth of his daughter yesterday and the whole team worked really hard to give him a second present in a few days, so I had to deliver for Alex. But it was a really tough final. When Primoz went it was really tough to close [the gap]. In the end it was a perfect finale with this little downhill, if we didn’t have it, it definitely would have been harder to win. I am super happy – this win is for Alex and his wife and new baby.”

While it was a day off for most, not so for Trek-Segafredo. Dario Cataldo ticked off kilometer after kilometer at the front of the bunch, keeping the two-man breakaway in check.

And when, finally, the first significant hill neared, positioning became the foremost concern for the GC teams and those seeking to mix it up for the stage win. The pace, slow for most of the day, turned insane.  Seventeen fiery kilometers remained.

And, as always, Alex Kirsch had Mads Pedersen on his wheel, right where they needed to be, doing what they do best.

Until Primoz Roglic threw a terrible twist into the ending. At least for Mads. At the start of the final uphill with just under three kilometers remaining, Roglic put in a searing attack.

“I didn’t like this finale at all – it was way too long and hard!” admitted Mads. “Primoz made a good attack and got a good gap. Ackermann was straight on his wheel, he played it well, and I really had to dig deep to close it. I was really on the limit when I came back on their wheels.”

After Mads retagged, Ackermann played everything in his book of tricks to gain an advantage. He slowed, forcing Mads in front of him.

“Pascal wanted me in front of him and on Primoz’s wheel, and luckily we had a slight downhill where I could recover a bit,” continued Mads. “Primoz went all out to gain some seconds which was lucky for me that he wanted to go that hard all the way to the finish, so I could basically start my sprint with 220 meters to go, I think, just after the roundabout.”

Roglic never slowed, giving a perfect lead out before he moved aside to let the others contest the stage. And for Mads, the rest was easy. The only unfortunate part: Roglic hit the deck hard just ahead of the line.

“It’s a pity that Roglic crashed,” sympathized Mads. “There were so many spectators making noise that I didn’t hear the crash; I was only focused on sprinting, and I only found out afterward. He hasn’t been lucky this year and I hope it is not too bad so that he can keep fighting for the victory of the Vuelta. It’s a pity stuff like this happens, I don’t know what happened, it was close to the finish line, and I feel really sorry for him.”

With the win, Mads Pedersen has almost assured the green points jersey will be his in Madrid, taking a lead of 220 points into the final five days.

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Here's the report from GC leader Remco Evenepoel's Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl:

The first of the six stages scheduled on the third week of the race got underway from Sanlucar de Barrameda, the town where exactly five hundred years ago Juan Sebastian Elcano became the first man to circumnavigate the earth after taking charge of Fernando Magellan’s expedition that had started three years before.

The peloton was less interested in the historical side of the stage and more in the finish in Tomares, a suburb of Sevilla, the city of Diego Velasquez and Juan Belmonte, among others. Those who targeted the victory knew that Tuesday afternoon it would be only about the closing kilometers, which featured two roundabouts and averaged 2.1%, thus favouring also the punchers, not just the sprinters.

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl guided again overall leader Remco Evenepoel through the hectic finale, making sure he would arrive home safe and sound, but it wasn’t quite as straightforward as our rider had hoped it would be. The 22-year-old punctured in the last three kilometers and had to wait for the team car, from where he got a new bike and continued to the finish, where he was given the same time as the peloton.

Remco Evenepoel

Remco Evenepoel (shown after stage 15) remains the GC leader. Sirotti photo

“I knew I had a puncture because I realized I couldn’t ride my bike properly. I had no idea how far from the finish we were, but they told me in the radio that I was inside the last three kilometers, so there was no reason to panic. It’s a pity, because I wanted to go for the stage win, but at the end of the day I can be content with things”, said the first Belgian in the last 45 years to lead the Vuelta a España for eleven consecutive days.

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Here's the report from Primoz Roglic's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Primoz Roglic has gained time on his rivals for the general classification in the 16th stage of the Vuelta a España, but a hard crash in the final metres nullified the eight seconds time gain.
Team Jumbo-Visma saw the vicious final of the 16th stage as one of the opportunities to gain time on classification leader Remco Evenepoel, among others. "We had planned to attack in the final phase of this stage”, sports director Addy Engels explained. "We knew this was Primoz's stage. We first set out to win the stage, but the time advantage that came with it was equally valuable to us. Everything went as planned until Primoz experienced terrible luck in the last few metres."

Primoz Roglic with teammate Mike Teunissen finishing the stage.

Engels was referring to the Slovenian's crash a few hundred metres from the finish. "Primoz rode a super strong final. His attack at three kilometres from the end was vicious. He was on his way to gaining time on all his direct competitors. We didn't even notice that Evenepoel broke down when Primoz was making his effort. He went flat out to the finish. Looking back, we are not so happy about it. Yes, Primoz managed to gain time but had to pay for it with a huge crash. It is obvious that he was hurt. We hope the harm is not severe and he can finish the Vuelta. The eight seconds time gain is obviously not worth the injuries to his body.”

After the stage, Roglic was examined and treated by the Vuelta’s medical staff. The team doctor will oversee any additional care.

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Here's the Vuelta report from third-place Danny van Poppel's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

After the third rest day, the final week of the Vuelta began with a 189km stage between Sanlúcar de Barrameda and Tomares in western Andalusia. Here the sprinters, who were able to get over the last two short ascents, would be able to make their move for the final time before the last stage in Madrid. The break duo that dominated the race remained unsuccessful and was caught 4 km ahead of the finish.

Led by Ineos Grenadiers, the riders headed into the finale, where Primoz Roglič went clear, followed by Pascal Ackermann. Shortly after, Danny van Poppel, Mads Pedersen and Fred Wright managed to catch up with the leading duo, which reached the finish straight a few seconds ahead of the chasers. In a hectic finale, Pedersen pulled off his sprint from the front to take the win, while Danny van Poppel finished third.

"At the beginning, the stage was quite easy, but the finale was anything but, with the steep climb at the end. Roglič went, I was on the wheel of Pedersen and I wanted to close the gap. But I went over the limit in order to bridge over to Roglič. The pace was so high that I wasn't able to properly recover. I had to go really deep. I can do short powerful climbs fairly well, but it took up a lot of energy, and in the end, I was really à bloc, especially with the heat."- Danny van Poppel

"Today's stage contained not too much action for the first four hours. Yet the finale could not have been more of a contrast. The GC leader had a mechanical in the last three kilometers, and the second-placed rider crashed heavily. We were really up there in the race, and represented by Danny at the front of proceedings. In the sprint, Mads Pedersen was again the strongest and we just missed out on second place behind him. But it was a strong performance by Danny and also by the whole team, who supported him and brought him into a good position for the business end of the race." - Jens Zemke, Sports Director

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