LA MANGA DEL MAR MENOR, Spain – Fabio Jakobsen sprinted to win the Spanish Vuelta’s eighth stage, while Primoz Roglic kept the lead before the race returns to the mountains.
The Dutch sprinter was launched by a Deceuninck-Quickstep teammate and crossed almost a complete bike length ahead of Alberto Dainese. Jakobsen also won stage four at this edition of the race, as well as two stages in the 2019 Vuelta.
“It was about being strong, fast and it’s about timing,” Jakobsen said. “On a finish like this, you have to be on time. I have been twice too late (in other stages), but this time I was perfectly right from the corner and could do a full sprint to the line. The team did a perfect job.”
Jakobsen was closely followed by the rest of the peloton as it finished the 173-kilometer (107-mile) flat trek from Santa Pola to La Manga del Mar Menor, a slim finger of land separating a salt water lagoon from the Mediterranean Sea that is popular among tourists.
A breakaway group opened up a gap of over three minutes early on the flat ride down Spain’s southeast coast, but the Astana team led the peloton back to reel them in with around 40 kilometers left.
Roglic was unchallenged as the race leader on the route made for teams hunting for a stage win.
Felix Grosschartner of Bora-Hansgrohe remained second in the general classification at eight seconds behind Roglic. Movistar leader Enric Mas is third at :25 back. Egan Bernal of Ineos Grenadiers is sixth at :41.
The race is back in the mountains on Sunday with a 188-kilometer (116-mile) ride from Puerto Lumbreras to a summit finish atop the beyond-category Alto de Velefique.
Movistar veteran Alejandro Valverde underwent surgery on his broken collarbone that he injured when he crashed on Friday and had to abandon the race.