Vuelta a Espana: Caruso triumphs, Roglic extends lead in the mountains

By Sports Desk August 22, 2021

Damiano Caruso became the first rider to win a mountain stage in two different grand tours in 2021 as he triumphed at the Vuelta a Espana on Sunday.

On the back of a second-place finish at the Giro d'Italia, Caruso took stage nine, holding off pressure from Enric Mas and general classification leader Primoz Roglic in the process.

Caruso, who won a mountain stage at the Giro, finished 65 seconds clear of two-time defending champion Roglic, with the Slovenian Olympic gold medallist outsprinting Mas to beat the Spaniard by a second.

Roglic's lead in the GC now stands at 28 seconds, with the race's first rest day coming up on Monday.

"We deserve it eh? It was a hard day, again super hot, and some big climbs. I survived it and I'm looking forward for tomorrow," Roglic said at the finish in Alto de Velefique.

"For sure our guys did a great job. INEOS [Grenadiers] put a hard pace on the long climb. It was hard and then here at the end it was quite fast with a big explosion. Luckily, I had OK legs so I could finish it.

"It's a beginning, now we have the rest day, and we just need to stay in one piece healthy with the whole team and then we'll be looking for the next stages."

Mas sits second in the GC standings, with his Movistar team-mate Miguel Angel Lopez almost a minute behind, ahead of Jack Haig.

Miguel Angel Lopez is one minute and 21 seconds behind Roglic in third, with Jack Haig one minute and 42 seconds back in fourth and Giro champion Egan Bernal in fifth.

STAGE RESULT

1. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) 5:03:14
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1:05
3. Enric Mas (Movistar) +1:06
4. Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) +1:44
5. Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) +1:44

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 34:18:53
2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +0:28
3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) +1:21

Points Classification

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 180
2. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 164
3. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 74

King of the Mountains

1. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) 28
2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 22
3. Pavel Sivakov (INEOS Grenadiers) 16

What's next?

A rest day in Almeria comes on Monday, with the Vuelta kicking back into gear on Tuesday with a 189m route from Roquetas de Mar to Rincon de la Victoria. It is mostly flat, but a category two climb will separate the contenders before a descent to the finish line.

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