Fabio Jakobsen sprinted to win the eighth stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Saturday, while Primoz Roglic retained the lead before the race returned to the mountains.
The Dutch sprinter was started by a Deceuninck-Quickstep teammate and covered almost a full length of the bike ahead of Alberto Dainese. Jakobsen also won the fourth stage of this edition of the race, as well as two stages of the 2019 Vuelta.
“It was about being strong, fast and it was about timing,” said Jakobsen. “On an arrival like this, you have to be on time. I was twice too late (in other stages), but this time I was perfectly to the right of the turn and was able to do a full sprint to the line. The team did a perfect job.
Jakobsen was closely followed by the rest of the peloton as he completed the 173-kilometer (107-mile) flat trek from Santa Pola to La Manga del Mar Menor, a thin finger of land separating a saltwater lagoon from the Mediterranean Sea which is popular among tourists.
A breakaway widened a gap of more than three minutes at the start of the flat race on Spain’s southeast coast, but Astana’s team brought the peloton back to bring them about 40 kilometers from the end. .
Roglic was undisputed as the leader of the race on the course made for teams looking for a stage victory.
Felix Grosschartner of Bora-Hansgrohe remained second in the overall standings eight seconds behind Roglic. Movistar leader Enric Mas is third at: 25. Egan Bernal of Ineos Grenadiers is sixth at: 41.
The race is back in the mountains on Sunday with a 188-kilometer (116-mile) run from Puerto Lumbreras to a summit finish atop the Alto de Velefique, out of category.
Movistar veteran Alejandro Valverde underwent surgery on his broken collarbone which he injured in his fall on Friday and had to abandon the race.