Vuelta a Espana: Jakobsen sprints to sparkling stage win

By Sports Desk August 21, 2021

Fabio Jakobsen kept enough in reserve to edge a frantic sprint finish on stage eight of the Vuelta a Espana and go top of the points classification.

After Friday's first mountain stage of the 2021 Vuelta, it was back to a near flat run from Santa Pola to La Manga del Mar Menor on Saturday, resulting in a mass scramble in the closing kilometre.

With his Deceuninck-QuickStep boss Patrick Lefevere watching on, after travelling to join the team in Spain, Jakobsen was guided towards victory by a determined collective effort.

Florian Senechal led a burst at the front of the pack, spreading the peloton and allowing team-mate Jakobsen space to come steaming through to fend off another fast finisher in Alberto Dainese.

For 24-year-old Dutchman Jakobsen, it means that he has two stage wins already in this Vuelta – he also won twice in the 2019 race – and sits top of the points classification.

"It's very special to be here again," he said on Eurosport, as he celebrated his victory.

"The team did a perfect job. They kept the speed high, and even though I lost them a little bit I was still in a good position and I launched my sprint in the corner with 200 [metres] to go, and I was the fastest I think.

"It was about being strong, fast, and it's about timing. On a finish like this you need to be on time – I've been twice too late and this time I was perfectly right from the corner and I could do a full sprint to the line."

Jakobsen suffered a massive crash at the Tour de Pologne in August of last year, which led to him being put into an induced coma, and he spoke later of being thankful to have survived.

The Vuelta has been good to him, and on Saturday he said: "Two years ago I won twice – I'm extremely happy and grateful to be here. This is what we will keep on doing, trying to win sprints."

There was barely a straggler to be found, with the leading 136 riders on the stage all crossing the finish line within a minute of Jakobsen.

It meant the leading positions in the general classification were unaffected, with Primoz Roglic staying in La Roja as the general classification leader, the Jumbo-Visma rider still eight seconds ahead of Bora-Hansgrohe's Felix Grossschartner.

STAGE RESULT

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick Step) 3:56:05
2. Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) +0:00
3. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) +0:00
4. Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:00
5. Itamar Einhorn (Israel Start-Up Nation) +0:00

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 29:14:40
2. Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:08
3. Enric Mas (Movistar) +0:25

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. Pavel Sivakov (INEOS Grenadiers) 16
2. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 12
3. Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) 11

What's next?

After the rather routine nature of Saturday's ride, Sunday will be a wholly different story. It is back to the mountains for the 188km race from Puerto Lumbreras to Alto de Velefique. The riders will have it relatively easy in the first 90km, before the serious ascents begin with the category one Collado Venta Luisa.

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