Odd Christian Eiking took over the red jesey from Primoz Roglic while Michael Storer claimed another solo win on stage 10 of the Vuelta a Espana.

Storer dominated the final downhill of the opening hilly stage to take victory at Rincon de la Victoria.

Having also won stage seven at Balcon de Alicante on Friday, the Australian became only the second rider from his nation to win two in a single edition of La Vuelta – after Michael Matthews in 2013.

"I was feeling good on the last climb. I knew exactly what I needed to do to win today. I had to attack," the DSM rider said. 

"I didn't have exact time gaps but I knew it was tight. I had to go fast down that descent. There are dry and slippery roads in this region. I felt my descent was just enough to hold on. 

"I don't realise yet that I have won two hard stages at this Vuelta after 10 days. It's actually unbelievable."

Storer finished 22 seconds ahead of Mauri Vansevenant, Clement Champoussin, Dylan van Baarle and Eiking.

Olympic champion Roglic – GC leader since the end of stage six at Alto de Cullera – went down on the slopes of Puerto de Almacher as he finished just under 12 minutes behind Storer.

That meant he surrendered La Roja to Eiking, who became only the second Norwegian leader of La Vuelta – and first since Thor Hushovd in 2006.

"I couldn't expect that this morning," he said. "I was nine minutes behind and it would almost take a miracle to be in the jersey. 

"I heard on my earpiece eight minutes, nine minutes, 10 minutes. And then in the end, I understood this was really possible. 

"I tried to get as many minutes as possible in the end. I can't describe what this means, it's really, really big."

STAGE RESULT

1. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 4:09:21
2. Mauri Vansevenant (Deceuninck-QuickStep) +0:22
3. Clement Champoussin (AG2R Citroen) +0:22
4. Dylan van Baarle (Ineos Grenadiers) +0:22
5. Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) +0:22

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Odd Christian Eiking (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 38:37:46
2. Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) +0:58
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +2:17

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. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 17

What's next?

The hilly stages continue on Wednesday with a 133.6km route from Antequera to Valdepenas de Jaen.

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.

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.

Spanish cycling great Alejandro Valverde underwent surgery on a broken collarbone on Saturday after pulling out of the Vuelta a Espana.

The 41-year-old, who won the 2009 edition of the Vuelta, suffered a heavy crash in Friday's seventh stage and subsequently abandoned the race.

His Movistar team said Valverde came through his operation successfully.

They said in a statement posted on Twitter: "@alejanvalverde has undergone surgery this Saturday morning for his right clavicle fracture after his fall in #LaVuelta21.

"The intervention, carried out by @DrEsparzaRos and Dr Javier Hernandez at the Hospital @GrupoHLA La Vega (Murcia), passed without complications."

No timescale for his recovery has been detailed.

Valverde, who began Friday's stage sitting fourth overall, attacked on the Puerto El Colloa, attempting to put his GC rivals onto the back foot, only to spin out of control on a difficult right-hand turn.

He crashed through a gap in the barriers and onto the lip of the hillside, avoiding tumbling further. Although he attempted to carry on after receiving treatment, Valverde was soon compelled to retire from the race.

Valverde posted on Friday evening that "it hurts to leave like this" as he came to terms with his fate, the race carrying on in his absence.

Primoz Roglic held on to La Roja but saw his Vuelta a Espana lead cut to eight seconds as Michael Storer claimed victory on stage seven.

The first mountain stage of this year's Vuelta promised to shake things up in the general classification pack but two-time defending champion Roglic retained his place in pole position.

However, his lead was trimmed down by 17 seconds in total, with Felix Grossschartner - who finished one minute and 32 seconds behind Storer - closing the gap.

Enric Mas, who was in second, stayed 25 seconds back from Roglic.

The day belonged to Storer, however, with the Team DSM rider powering to victory on the breakaway, finishing 21 seconds clear of Carlos Verona up the Balcon de Alicante, the last of six categorised climbs on Friday.

Storer's aggression paid off with 4km remaining when he countered an attack from Movistar's Verona, who crossed the line 38 seconds ahead of third-placed Pavel Sivakov, who also clinched the lead in the climbers' classification.

Verona's effort capped a difficult day for Movistar, who lost Alejandro Valverde with around 40km of the route remaining.

The Spaniard, who started the day fourth overall, attacked on the Puerto El Colloa, attempting to put his GC rivals onto the back foot, only to spin out of control on a difficult right-hand turn.

Valverde, the 2009 Vuelta champion, crashed through a gap in the barriers and onto the lip of the hillside, though fortunately managed to avoid tumbling over it.

He attempted to carry on after receiving treatment, but could not last and is out of the tour.

STAGE RESULT

1. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 4:10:13
2. Carlos Verona (Movistar) +0:22
3. Pavel Sivakov (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:59
4. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +1:16
5. Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) +1:24

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 25:18:35
2. Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:08
3. Enric Mas (Movistar) +0:25

Points Classification

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 131
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 130
3. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 67

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?

It is back to the flats for stage eight, with a sprint finish into La Manga del Mar Menor rounding off the first week of action.

Primoz Roglic retook the overall lead at the Vuelta a Espana, while Magnus Cort sealed victory in a tightly contested sixth stage.

Cort claimed a breakaway victory up the summit of Alto de la Montana de Cullera following a 158km route on Thursday.

EF Education-Nippo rider Cort finished just ahead of two-time defending champion Roglic, who could not quite catch the Dane up the 1.9km climb.

However, Roglic's efforts proved too much for Kenny Elissonde, who was dropped on the final ascent and had to relinquish La Roja to Slovenia's Olympic gold medallist.

Indeed, Elissonde fell out of the top 10 altogether, with another pre-race favourite – Colombian star Egan Bernal – rising to fifth in the general classification standings, 41 seconds behind Roglic.

Though Roglic's lead at the top of the GC is 25 seconds, the stage victory belonged to Cort.

"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," he said.

"I knew we still had a chance. It's hard to know how big the gap is because they go fast in the bunch before a climb like that to get position.

"I could see we had a little gap. For me it was about getting as quickly as possible to the top. I hoped that none of my breakaway companions could stay in the wheel and I'd keep the bunch behind me. It was very close and I'm very happy that I kept Roglic just behind.

"I looked back with 150 metres to go and I could see him coming. I sprinted with everything I had and I luckily could keep him behind me."

STAGE RESULT

1. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 3:30:53
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) same time
3. Andrea Bagioli (Deceuninck-QuickStep) +0:00:02
4. Aleksandr Vlasov (Astana-Premier Tech) +0:00:04
5. Enric Mas (Movistar) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 21:04:09
2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +0:25
3. Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Movistar) +0:36

Points Classification

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 131
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 130
3. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 67

King of the Mountains

1. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 10
2. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) 7
3. Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) 6

What's next?

A 152km route from Gandia to the Balcon de Alicante takes La Vuelta into the mountains. There are six categorised climbs, including a category one summit finish. This is when Roglic, Alejandro Valverde, Bernal and the other favourites could really break clear.

Jasper Philipsen hailed an "incredible" team performance from Alpecin-Fenix after he clinched his second stage victory of this year's Vuelta a Espana.

Philipsen, who won stage 15 last year and triumphed in stage two three days ago, edged a bunch sprint at the culmination of a crash-hit stage five on Wednesday.

The 23-year-old powered away on the final straight of a 184.4 kilometre flat route into Albacete, crossing the line ahead of Tuesday's winner Fabio Jakobsen and Alberto Dainese.

"It makes it even more beautiful if you see the final five kilometres how we were there together all with the team. I cannot describe that," said the Belgian, who also took the green jersey as the points leader.

"This team, we haven't been riding so long together but it's incredible what we all do for each other, and I think it's so beautiful to finish it off together.

"After yesterday I was a bit disappointed that I couldn't do my sprint how I wanted but to win today is super nice to turn a page from yesterday and enjoy this moment together with the team."

His victory came after the group split with around 11km remaining – an incident that held up leader Rein Taaramae.

With Taaramae falling back, Kenny Elissonde nipped in to take La Roja, though Jumbo-Visma's Primoz Roglic, the two-time defending champion, is only five seconds behind ahead of a summit finish in stage six.

"This is not the way I wanted to take jersey, but we know in cycling that when there's wind there's risk," said Elissonde.

"Okay, I don't like it, it was not a pleasure, but at the end of the day I cannot do anything else. It is what it is. 

"It's still incredible to wear the jersey. After the Tour [de France] and Olympics, I took it easy, my team said 'Kenny, go to the Vuelta and see day by day', and look. It's incredible. It's super cool."

STAGE RESULT

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 04:24:41
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) same time
3. Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) same time
4. Juan Sebastian Molano Benavides (UAE Team Emirates) same time
5. Piet Allegaert (COFIDIS) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) +17:33:57
2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:05
3. Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroen Team) +0:10

Points Classification

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 131
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 130
3. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) 50

King of the Mountains

1. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 10
2. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) 7
3. Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) 6

What's next?

A 158.3km route from Requena to Alto de la Montana de Cullera descends into a mostly flat run until a sharp, category three summit finish.

Fabio Jakobsen sprinted to victory a year after he was in a medically induced coma and Rein Taaramae picked himself up following a late crash on stage four of the Vuelta a Espana to retain the red jersey.

Jakobsen suffered life-threatening injuries in a high-speed smash on the opening stage of the Tour of Poland last year but has made an incredible recovery.

The Deceuninck-Quick Step rider showed great power and speed to take the stage win in Molina de Aragon ahead of Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ), with Magnus Cort (EF Education Nippo) crossing the line in third place.

Dutchman Jakobsen left it late to dart inside Demare for a magnificent victory in an uphill finish at the end of a 163.9 kilometre route from El Burgo de Osma.

Michael Matthews had talked up his chances of winning the stage, but the Australian could not get a clear run and had to settle for fifth place behind Alberto Dainese.

Taaramae was rocked when he went down as the pace was stepped up near the end, yet he remains the race leader by a margin of 25 seconds over Kenny Elissonde as he crashed in the final 3km.

Carlos Canal, Angel Madrazo and Joan Bou spent much the stage at the front after breaking away from the start, but they were caught with 13km to go

Jakobsen said: "It's a dream come true. After the crash, I was a long way back, but I'm happy I'm here.

"A lot of time and effort has gone into this by a lot of people, and it's also their victory. I'm talking about all the doctors and surgeons and medical staff in Poland, through to my second family here with the team, and everything in between.

"It's also their victory. It's also my family's victory because they're the reason I'm here."

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick) 03:43:07 
2. Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) same time
3. Magnus Cort (EF Education Nippo) same time
4. Alberto Dainese (Team DSM) same time
5. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 13:08:51
2. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) +0:25
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:30

Points Classification

1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 100
2. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 68
3. Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech) 50

King of the Mountains

1. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 10
2. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) 7
3. Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) 6

What's next?

A flat 184.4km stage five from Tarancon to Albacete is likely to end with another sprint finish unless high winds are a major factor.

Rein Taaramae claimed a surprise victory on stage three of the Vuelta a Espana atop Picon Blanco to take the red jersey from Primoz Roglic.

Monday's demanding 202.8 kilometer route saw the first summit finish and Taaramae, whose only stage win at the race came in 2011, saw off some strong climbers to come out on top.

The 34-year-old finished 21 seconds ahead of Joe Dombrowski and Kenny Elissonde was a further 15 seconds back in third as the general classification standings were shaken up.

Previous race leader Roglic drops to third overall after finishing seventh on Monday, 30 seconds behind Taaramae, who is 25 seconds better off than the second-placed Elissonde.

Taaramae is the first Estonian to secure the red jersey after getting the better of an eight-man breakaway. Dombrowski and Lilian Calmejane, who eventually came fourth, took it in turn to attack but Taaramae had the legs to see the job through.

Hugh Carthy, who finished third in this event last year, lost 21 seconds on favourite Roglic, while Olympic road race champion Richard Carapaz is over two minute adrift of the new leader after failing to keep up with the chasing pack.

"Yesterday evening me and my team spoke about winning this stage and taking the leader's jersey," Taaramae said. "I believed in myself today because I'm in a good state. 

"Today was all about whether the peloton would catch us or not. When I saw that we could do it then I had questions about how good Joe Dombrowski and Kenny Elissonde

"They are all good riders but Joe and Kenny are really good so I don't know if I can beat them, but I believed it because I already did it many times.

"Red is a big achievement because I'm 34 and I don't have many years left to try to do this. I have a stage in the Vuelta and Giro but I dream a lot about a leader's jersey in a Grand Tour – at least for a few days."

STAGE RESULT

1. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 05:16:57 
2. Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) +0:21
3. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) +0:36
4. Lilian Calmejane (AG2R Citroen Team) +1:16
5. Enric Mas (Movistar) +01.45

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 09:25:44
2. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) +0:25
3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:30

Points Classification

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 50
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 50
3. Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech) 50

King of the Mountains

1. Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert) 10
2. Kenny Elissonde (Trek–Segafredo) 7
3. Joe Dombrowski (UAE Team Emirates) 6

What's next?

Tuesday's stage spans 163.9km from El Burgo de Osma to Molina de Aragon and will once again favour the sprinters.

Fabio Jakobsen timed his sprint finish to perfection to win stage two of the Vuelta a Espana.

Alpecin-Fenix rider Jakobsen edged out Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick Step) in Burgos on Sunday at the end of a 166.7-kilometre flat stage that started in Caleruega.

Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) took third place as 23-year-old Belgian Jakobsen claimed his second Vuelta stage win after being led out brilliantly by his team-mates.

Primoz Roglic retained the red jersey with a lead of four seconds over Alex Aranburu following the defending champion's time-trial triumph on the opening stage.

Sprinter Jordi Meeus was among the Bora-Hansgrohe riders who were involved in a crash four kilometres from the end of the second day.

Diego Rubio (Burgos-BH), Sergio Martin (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) and Xabier Mikel Azparren (Euskaltel-Euskadi) made an early break on a hot, draining day for the riders.

Rubio looked the strongest of that breakaway trio and he tried to go solo, but was caught with a little over 20 kilometres to go to set up the sprint finish that was anticipated.

Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates) hit the front with 200 metres remaining, with Matthews on his wheel, but it was Jakobsen who nipped in front to take the victory.

He said: "It's incredible. Yesterday someone put it in our team group chat [that they could win the first sprint of all three Grand Tours] and for sure it was a dream but I didn't want to think about it because the chance is always less high than it would be true.

"It just shows how everyone from team is really motivated. It was a team effort and we can be really proud. It was amazing to see all my team-mates there and everyone on the front line. I had a lot of support and this is how we can win sprints.

"Each of us can be very happy tonight and we start this Grand Tour in a good way."

 

STAGE RESULT

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 03:58:57
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep)
3. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange)
4. Juan Sebastian Molano (UAE Team Emirates)
5. Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech)

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 0:08:32
2. Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech) +0:04
3. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) +0:10

Points Classification

1. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 50
2. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) 50
3. Alex Aranburu (Astana-Premier Tech 50

King of the Mountains

1. Sepp Cuss (Jumbo-Visma) 3
2. Sep Vanmarcke (Israel Start-Up Nation) 2
3. Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates) 1

What's next?

A first high-altitude finale in Picon Blanco awaits the riders, who will start a demanding 202.8km third stage in Santo Domingo de Silos.

Primoz Roglic started the defence of his Vuelta a Espana title in style as he took the lead after a short time trial on stage one.

Fresh from claiming Slovenia's first Olympic gold medal in any cycling discipline, Roglic – who has triumphed at the Vuelta in the previous two years – was the last man out in Burgos.

The 31-year-old Jumbo-Visma rider set a blistering pace around the 7.1kilometre route, which he completed in just eight minutes and 32 seconds – six seconds clear of nearest challenger Alex Aranburu (Astana-PremierTech).

Aranburu had held top spot for much of the stage, but has to settle for second heading into stage two. Jan Tratnik, of Bahrain-Victorious, rounds out the top three, trailing Roglic by eight seconds.

Roglic was forced to abandon the Tour de France after a brutal first week but headed to Spain on a high following his success in Japan, and is aiming to become the first rider to win the Vuelta three times in a row since Roberto Heras in 2005. He is also bidding to draw level with Tony Rominger and Alberto Contador on three triumphs should he keep hold of the red jersey.

"It's a beautiful start, I'm enjoying it, and we hopefully can enjoy it as a team in the upcoming days," said Roglic.

Giro d'Italia champion Egan Bernal skipped the Tour and is considered Roglic's prime challenger, but the Colombian suffered on Saturday and lost 27 seconds to his rival.

Tom Piddock, who won a mountain biking gold for Great Britain in Tokyo, made his grand tour debut for INEOS Grenadiers, clocking in 36 seconds slower than Roglic.

"That was horrible. I've basically had three weeks of holidays," said Piddock.

STAGE RESULT

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 0:08:32
2. Alex Aranburu Deba (Astana-Premier Tech) +0:06
3. Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious) +0:08
4. Tom Scully (EF Education-Nippo) +0:10
5. Josef Cerny (Deceuninck-QuickStep) +0:10

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 0:08:32
2. Alex Aranburu Deba (Astana-Premier Tech) +0:06
3. Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious) +0:08

Points Classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 20
2. Alex Aranburu Deba (Astana-Premier Tech) 17
3. Jan Tratnik (Bahrain Victorious) 15

King of the Mountains

1. Sepp Cuss (Jumbo-Visma) 3
2. Sep Vanmarcke (Israel Start-Up Nation) 2
3. Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates) 1

What's next?

The Vuelta rolls from Caleruega to Burgos, a 166.7km flat route with a sprint finish, giving the sprinters an early opportunity to shine.

Primoz Roglic will start his quest for a hat-trick of Vuelta a Espana titles when the final Grand Tour race of the year starts in Burgos on Saturday.

Team Jumbo-Visma rider Roglic has won the Vuelta in each of the peast two years and is favourite to continue his dominance of the race.

Giro d'Italia champion Egan Bernal will be expected to mount a strong challenge after skipping the Tour de France, while the Colombian's INEOS Grenadiers team-mates Richard Carapaz and Adam Yates could have a big say.

This 76th edition of the race will have eight mountain top finishes, with 11 stages featuring mountains, including the Picon Blanco with a gradient in some sections of the climb at 17 per cent.

Stats Perform picks out the big stories and standout Opta facts ahead of a race that will finish in Santiago de Compostela on September 5.
 

OLYMPIC CHAMPION ROGLIC TARGETING RARE TREBLE

Roglic put his Tour de France woes behind him to win gold at the Tokyo Olympics last month, claiming Slovenia's first gold medal in any cycling discipline.

The 31-year-old abandoned the Tour after a brutal first week but should start the Vuelta on a high from his heroics in Japan.

Roglic will be bidding to move level with Tony Rominger and Alberto Contador on three Vuelta triumphs if he wins the red jersey – one shy of Roberto Heras' record.

He would also become the first rider to win the race three times in a row since Spaniard Heras in 2005.

 


BERNAL LEADS INEOS CHALLENGE

Bernal claimed his maiden Giro title this year after winning his first Grand Tour crown in the 2019 Tour.

The 24-year-old sat out the 2021 Tour and has been training at altitude in his homeland ahead of a bid to complete a clean sweep of Grand Tour titles.

Bernal could become only the third Colombian to win the race, with Nairo Quintana being the last in 2016.

INEOS have a strong hand as Carapaz and Yates plot a title challenge.
 

LANDA HOPEFUL OF ENDING SPANISH DROUGHT

No Spanish rider has triumphed in the previous six editions of the race on home soil. If that extends to seven, it will be an unwanted record drought.

But Mikel Landa is hopeful of topping the podium after winning the Vuelta de Burgos following his recovery from a broken collarbone and several broken ribs suffered in a Giro crash.

He told the Deia: "Winning the Vuelta de Burgos was unexpected, but it was a great morale boost after so long out injured.

"Now I am going to the Vuelta with optimism. At the end of the day, I haven't competed much this year and I have the bit between my teeth after the Giro. I know I have to be careful, because I am still lacking a bit of form, but I am very motivated."

Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge successfully defended his men's marathon title and the United States added three more golds to their tally on the final day of Tokyo Olympics action.

Kipchoge crossed the line one minute and 20 seconds ahead of runner-up Abdi Nageeye to become the third athlete to win the event at back-to-back Games.

In doing so, the 36-year-old – who previously took 5,000 metre silver in 2008 and bronze in London four years later – believes he has inspired a generation of runners.

"It means a lot to me, especially at this hard time," he said. "Last year was postponed, and now it has happened.

"I think I fulfilled the legacy by winning the marathon for the second time. That's my total happiness, my inspiration for the next generation."

The final day of action at the 2020 Games ultimately belonged to the United States, though, as they collected three golds to finish above China at the top of the medal table.

 

USA TRUMP CHINA

Team USA trailed China by two gold medals heading into Sunday's events, but triumphs in basketball, volleyball and track cycling saw them top the standings.

USA's victory in the women's basketball would have come as little surprise given it is their seventh straight success in the competition.

Brittney Griner racked up 30 points and Breanna Stewart also impressed in the 90-75 win over Japan with 14 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, four steals and three blocks.

Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi each picked up their fifth gold medals, while for Japan the silver was their first medal of any sort in the sport.

"The only thing about getting older, you know all the bad stuff that can happen," Bird said. "We lost in the 2006 World Cup. We tasted that and that's always been the driver. 

"So, when we actually have the medal around our necks, it just feels so good. It's a sense of relief in a lot of ways."

While success in the women's basketball is par for the course, overcoming Brazil in the volleyball final provided USA with their first gold medal in the event.

After finishing runners-up to Brazil in the 2008 and 2012 Games, USA exacted some revenge with a 25-21 25-20 25-14 victory in Sunday's final.

Jennifer Valente completed the hat-trick for the Americans in the women's cycling omnium, the 26-year-old delivering her country's first track cycling gold since 2000.

She led from start to finish, despite crashing in the final points race, with home favourite Yumi Kajihara taking silver.

"There were some bumps. It was actually quite a short day as far as omnium goes," Valente said. "That was something that was very much on my mind, that we played into.

"Crashing in the point races is never ideal. I was just trying to get back on my bike, make sure I was okay, and get back in the race as soon as possible."


BRITAIN RULE THE TRACK

Kelsey Mitchell won the women's sprint for Canada by beating Ukraine's Olena Starikova 2-0 in the best-of-three final.

But it was a familiar outcome in the men's keirin as Jason Kenny finished 0.763 seconds ahead of Azizulhasni Awang of Malaysia to win his seventh Olympic gold medal.

That makes Kenny Great Britain's most decorated Olympian and ensured Team GB finished top of the cycling medals table with six golds, four silver and two bronze.

"It's a bit of shock, I think," Kenny said of his latest medal success. "I really wanted to cross the finish line. I am absolutely buzzing. 

"Going into the final I didn't expect anything other than a five, really. I was hoping to kind of get stuck in, and hopefully come away with some silverware. 

"To win at the corner on my own like that is absolutely buzzing."

AMERICA'S BOXING WAIT GOES ON

The final four boxing gold medals were up for grabs on Sunday and plenty of focus was on the super-heavyweight bout between Bakhodir Jalolov and the USA's Richard Torrez. 

Twenty-two-year-old Torrez started strongly with a ferocious assault in the first round, but Uzbekistani boxer Jalolov recovered and won unanimously.

Torrez's compatriot Keyshawn Davis earlier lost his men's lightweight clash with Cuba's Andy Cruz, meaning USA's wait for an Olympic men's boxing gold will reach 20 years come Paris 2024.

"I've never felt this much pressure in fights a day in my life," Davis said. "I'm glad I got to experience this because it did make me a better fighter.

"I'm not cool with winning silver, but it's something I've got to live with and I'm okay with that. I'm gonna live with it and we're just gonna take it to the next level."

In the female categories, Kellie Anne Harrington beat Brazil's Beatriz Ferreira in the lightweight final to earn Ireland their second gold of the Games, while GB's Lauren Price outclassed Li Qian to win the middleweight final on points.

The United States finished top of the Tokyo Olympics medal table after a stunning run of success from their elite women on the final day of competition.

Triumphs in basketball, volleyball and track cycling saw Team USA move to 39 gold medals for the Games, pipping China at the post.

China finished with 38 golds, meaning that for the third successive Olympics it is the United States who hold sway on the medals front.

The all-conquering women's basketball team were 90-75 winners over Japan in their final, landing gold for a seventh successive Olympics.

They last lost at the Games in 1992 at Barcelona and were never in danger of surrendering their undefeated streak since, as Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi each picked up the fifth gold medals of their remarkable careers.

Jennifer Valente emerged victorious from the multi-race omnium cycling event at the Izu Velodrome, with the 26-year-old from San Diego scooping the first Olympic gold of her career.

 

Volleyball gold medals had previously been the preserve of the men among the US ranks, but now the women have triumphed at Olympic level too.

Their first visit to the top step of the Games podium was secured by a 3-0 win over Brazil in Sunday's final.

Haleigh Washington, a 25-year-old star of the team, said: “It's a great day to have a gold-medal day. The hard work we put in, the sweat, the tears, the blood, it’s been worth it. I am so proud to have done it with this group of women. I am so honoured."

Coach Karch Kiraly added: "I am so happy for this team and these amazing women in this programme. I told them not only are they bad-asses, but they are now gold medallists."

World record holder Eliud Kipchoge vowed to enjoy the moment before setting his next goal after successfully defending his Olympic men's marathon title at Tokyo 2020 on Sunday.

The 36-year-old Kenyan won by over a minute in a time of two hours, eight minutes and 38 seconds, with Dutchman Abdi Nageeye and Belgium's Bashir Abdi taking silver and bronze respectively.

The triumph was a coronation for Kipchoge who won gold at Rio 2016, while he claimed bronze and silver Olympic medals in the 5,000m in Athens and Beijing respectively.

Kipchoge, who is widely regarded as the greatest marathon runner in the modern era, refused to look ahead after his latest win.

"I am a believer of the philosophy that you should only chase one rabbit," Kipchoge said. "If you chase two, then you cannot get all of them.

"For the last two years I have been focusing on the Tokyo Olympic Games 2020, so I will only plan the next thing when there is a big job ahead of me.

"What was in my bucket list was Tokyo 2020. So I will go back now, talk to my coach, and see what the opportunities are and then I will come back to you people. But, for now, I want to enjoy winning here in Tokyo."

Nageeye and Abdi claimed second and third with an enthralling final sprint, edging out Kenyan Lawrence Cherono for the medals. The Dutchman willed on training partner Abdi in the dying stages.

"I was just telling him to stay with us, stay with us the last one (kilometre)," Nageeye said. "I felt good as that is what I was doing. I wasn't volunteering, but I knew if he stayed until the end, the last 200 metres, close your eyes and just sprint."

KENNY CLAIMS HISTORIC SEVENTH OLYMPIC GOLD

British cyclist Jason Kenny secured his seventh career Olympic gold medal, winning the men's keirin final on the final day of the Games after a remarkable race where he stormed ahead unopposed.

Kenny claimed his historic gold by 0.763 seconds from Malaysia's Mohd Azizulhasni Awang who edged Harrie Lavreysen of the Netherlands on the line to claim silver and bronze respectively.

In a bizarre race, the 33-year-old Kenny pulled clear with two laps to go, with second-placed Matthew Glaetzer not following him, powering ahead and eventually crossing the line on his own.

"It was such a long way," Kenny said. "I felt like the last lap took me about half an hour. But I got there in the end. I still can’t believe I crossed the line on my own."

He first won gold in the team sprint at Beijing 2008, following with two triumphs at London 2012 and three at Rio 2016, including the keirin title which he successfully defended.

Kenny's gold medal means he is the most successful British athlete in Olympic history, pulling clear of cyclist Chris Hoy.

Jason's wife Laura Kenny was involved in a huge crash in the opening round of the women's omnium and missed out on the medals, with gold won by USA's Jennifer Valente. Japan's Yumi Kajihara won the host country's first medal in cycling at Tokyo 2020 with silver.

Canada's Kelsey Mitchell won the gold medal from Ukraine's Olena Starikova in the women's sprint, with Hong Kong's Lee Wai Sze taking bronze.

USA CONTINUE WOMEN'S BASKETBALL DYNASTY

The United States women's basketball team claimed their seventh consecutive gold medal with a 90-75 victory over hosts Japan.

Brittney Griner top-scored with 30 points for USA, along with five rebounds and two assists.

Team USA opened up a nine-point lead at the first change and they were never headed, with a strong display headed by Griner.

USA only hit four three-pointers for the game compared to Japan's eight, but the favourites played to their strengths with strong offensive and defensive contributions from A'ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart.

Wilson added 19 points, seven rebounds, five blocks and five assists, while Stewart was exceptional with 14 points, 14 rebounds, three blocks and five assists.

USA veteran Sue Bird signed off on her Olympic career with a fifth gold medal.

USA MOVE CLEAR WITH VOLLEYBALL TRIUMPH

The United States moved into the outright lead on the gold medal table after clinching their first-ever women's volleyball victory.

USA triumphed 3-0 over Brazil, winning 25-21 25-20 25-14 in a dominant final display.

The gold medal took USA's tally to 39 golds, moving ahead of China with 38 as the final day continued to unfold.

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