Race report

Alberto Dainese 5th after bad luck in technical and fast sprint finale

Vuelta a España

With yesterday’s rest day behind them, the bunch were back racing again as the final week of the Vuelta a España got underway. Despite featuring only one categorised climb, numerous uncategorised climbs littered stage 16 and would make for a tough day out in the saddle.

It was a fast and nervous start to the stage as the fight for the breakaway was intense but with the help of some other sprint teams, Team DSM covered any dangerous moves before the elastic snapped and a five rider group went clear. Immediately increasing their gap to just north of two minutes where it soon stabilised, the peloton took up the chase with Thymen Arensman helping to set tempo for the team.

With the kilometres ticking by, it seemed quite a controlled stage but on the only categorised climb of the day the pace increased in the peloton and some riders were dropped. However, the team were well positioned towards the front, working well together and ensuring fast finisher Alberto Dainese made the split. Things regrouped on the flatter roads and heading into the last ten kilometres the breakaway were almost caught over the multiple uncategorised hills, with the catch finally made at four kilometres to go.

It was a fast and hectic run-in to the line, as Martijn Tusveld and Nico Denz jostled for position, trying to bring Dainese forward. Dropping him off in around the third row going under the flamme rouge, Dainese was well to the fore but going through the last tight turn at around 500 metres to go he had to check himself ever so slightly after a coming together, losing a few places with a small mechanical. The bunch strung out in one long line through the sinuous and twisting turns, with Dainese ultimately fighting back to a good fifth place finish at the line.

“The guys did an insane job today controlling the break with Thymen to start and the rest in the final,” explained Dainese after the stage. “Personally, I also had a super day and really good legs. Unfortunately, in the sprint at around 350 metres to go I had a slight mechanical after a coming together and even though I got it sorted, I could only sprint to fifth in the end. It’s a shame as I really thought could I go for win today and pay the guys back for their efforts.”

Team DSM coach Matt Winston added: “The guys did a really good job today, bringing Alberto into position. It wasn’t an easy stage to control but we showed some really good teamwork again. In the final there was a bit of a coming together and Alberto had a slight mechanical, before he then continued the sprint. He wasn’t able to sprint for a top result in the end, but again it shows really good commitment from the whole team and it’s another really solid result for us.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 JAKOBSEN Fabio Deceuninck - Quick Step 4:08:57 100
2 MEEUS Jordi BORA - hansgrohe ,, 40
3 TRENTIN Matteo UAE-Team Emirates ,, 20
5 DAINESE Alberto Team DSM ,, 4
44 DENZ Nico Team DSM ,, -
67 TUSVELD Martijn Team DSM ,, -
115 HAGA Chad Team DSM 2:26 -
130 STORER Michael Team DSM 2:56 -
136 HAMILTON Chris Team DSM 4:03 -
139 ARENSMAN Thymen Team DSM ,, -
141 BARDET Romain Team DSM 4:07 -