Vuelta a Espana: Bardet powers to victory, Roglic gains time

By Sports Desk August 28, 2021

Romain Bardet's late attack paid dividends as he took stage 14 of the Vuelta a Espana in Saturday's potentially pivotal mountain route.

Bardet pushed off with just under 7km remaining of the final ascent up the 14.7km Pico Villuercas climb.

Having been part of an 18-man breakaway, Bardet – of Team DSM – could not be caught and crossed the line 44 seconds ahead of Jesus Herrada, while Jay Vine came third despite crashing into his team car around midway through the stage.

Odd Christian Eiking kept hold of La Roja, though was unable to keep pace with Primoz Roglic, who edged ahead of Miguel Angel Lopez to gain 20 seconds on the race leader.

Enric Mas, Egan Bernal and Jack Haig managed to stay with two-time defending champion Roglic, who will be looking to make his prowess in the mountains count during a gruelling stage on Sunday.

"It's been a long wait. It means a lot. I've been second too many times," said Bardet, who has now taken the king of the mountains jersey, after claiming his first stage win at a Vuelta.

"Today I went full gas to be in the good break. I know that taking the polka-dot jersey it'd be a double victory. It's fantastic. 

"I think we played it smart with my sports director and he told me exactly when to attack on the steepest part of the climb and go for it as if the finish was there in front of me.

"I opened a good gap and made it to the finish. Everyone is tired but the spirit is so high in the team, so the moral is high. We're all focused and I'm so happy to be part of a good group of guys.

"We're enjoying ourselves and trying to do our best for the team. It's an amazing Vuelta."

STAGE RESULT

1. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 4:20:36
2. Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) +0:44
3. Jay Vine (Alpecin-Fenix) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 55:3:17
2. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +0:54
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1:36

Points Classification

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 200
2. Magnus Cort Nielsen (EF Education–Nippo) 114
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 106

King of the Mountains

1. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 50 
2. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) 31
3. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 17

What's next?

Four categorised climbs await the riders on Sunday, across a mammoth 197.5km route from Navalmoral de la Mata to El Barraco.

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