Storer wins his second stage and Roglic goes to the ground
On a windy day and in a peculiar stage, the tenth day of La Vuelta 2021 saw a very long and numerous breakaway that ended up fighting for the stage victory. The summary in three sentences could be: second victory for Storer, very clever in the breakaway; a good attack by Roglic and a mistake by the Slovenian on the downhill, which led him to the ground and to lose all the advantage he had gained; and a new red jersey, the Intermarché rider Odd Christian Eiking.
Wind and breakaway attempts in the first part of the stage
fter a well-deserved rest day, La Vuelta 2021 resumed its rhythm with a dynamic stage with three quarters flat and a surprising finish: the ascent to the Puerto de Almáchar and its respective descent to Rincón de la Victoria, from the province of Almería to the province of Málaga in a 189 kilometre route and a constant mid-mountain.
The panorama prior to the start was a mirror image of the last stage, of the Mas-Roglic duel in Velefique that has left them as the only candidates for the final victory in La Vuelta 2021, which still has a lot of mountains ahead of it and which only both seem to be eager to decide the winner and the podium of this edition.
Otherwise, the stage had only one other risk: the wind. It was a windy day that in the first part of the stage could have caused a bit of havoc. That's why this time the breakaway attempt took a little longer, until the riders got used to this particular weather factor. It was at kilometre 15 that Bora's Patrick Gamper attempted the first breakaway. It was unsuccessful, an example that would be followed by successive attempts: Florian Sénécal, from Deceuninck; Jordi Meeus, from Bora; or Jan Tratnik, from Bahrain. As we said, with the wind as an enemy, it was difficult to form a breakaway.
But inside the peloton there was a feeling that a successful breakaway could lead to a fight for the stage victory. The favourites were going to be together all the way to the last pass and, by then, a good lead would be more than enough to avoid being caught and win stage 10. The first hour of pedalling set an average of 49.3 kilometres per hour. They were going fast and very grouped together. For this reason, at kilometre 55 a new breakaway broke away. And this was the good one.
Good breakaway and stage win for Storer
The first eight brave riders quickly saw a very large group form. There were more than 30 riders, with some of them gradually dropping off. Among those thirty, there were some prominent names and several Spanish riders: Luis León Sánchez, Lastra, Amézqueta, Herrada and Asparren. And others also important to fight for the breakaway victory, such as Trentin, Elissonde, Storer and Van Baarle.
The gap quickly increased. It was more than 5 minutes at kilometre 100 and 7 minutes at kilometre 115. It was obvious that so many teams were present that none of them wanted to pull the peloton from behind. So it looked like the breakaway would be the one to win the stage today.
40 kilometres later, with 50 kilometres to go to Rincón de la Victoria, the breakaway was already 10 minutes ahead. There was no doubt, so the spotlight then turned to the breakaway, to see who was strong enough to form a breakaway in the breakaway, an attack between the attackers.
There were four who tried with 35 kilometres to go: Herrada, De Tier, Aranburu and Trentin. They took 15 seconds on the breakaway, but there was still a world and a pass in between. In that scenario, there was going to be another change of leader in La Vuelta 2021, so it remained to be seen what would happen up front, but also behind, what Jumbo Visma would do if they didn't want Roglic to lose the red jersey.
The escapees took almost 30 seconds of advantage just at the start of the pass. And it was the pass that ended up filtering everything. Those four were caught, and it was Storer, who already has a stage to his credit, who attacked again. He picked up 35 seconds and set about taking his second stage win. Behind, the party started: with 14 kilometres to go, Roglic decided to give it a go. The Slovenian changed the pace and went solo. Behind, they were slow to react, but they did. Among them, Enric Mas, who reacted a little late but very well. In that lunge, Bernal gave in again. The Colombian is not there, nor is he expected.
This was all the excitement of the race. Storer extended his lead and smelled his double in this Vuelta 2021. And Roglic got about 12 seconds on the summit. The Slovenian was going down well, so it all looked bad. Even so, Superman Lopez and Mas tried to go down very fast to keep the advantage to a minimum. That pressure led to Roglic's crash. He was very lucky, because it was clean, painless and without consequences. He got back on the bike and came in with the three chasing riders, and he can be happy about that.
Storer won. Roglic is strong but lost his lead with the crash. And new leader: Odd Christian Eiking.
- Storer, M. (DSM) | 4:09:21
- Vansevenant, M. (Deceuninck Quick Step) | +22
- Champoussin, C. (AG2R) | +22
- Eiking, O.C. (Intermarché) | 38:37:46
- Martin, G. (Cofidis) | +58
- Roglic, P. (Jumbo Visma) | +2:17