Nielsen wins again as Roglic keeps Vuelta lead

Monforte de Lemos (Spain) (AFP) –


Magnus Cort Nielsen of EF-Nippo won his third stage on the Vuelta a Espana on Friday as he and six other escapees defied a speeding peloton by 20 seconds after a hilly stage 19 run into Galicia.

Overall leader Primoz Roglic retains the red jersey with just two days left including Sunday's individual time-trial, a discipline in which he is Olympic champion.

Danish cyclist Nielsen also won stages six and 12 and joins Roglic and green jersey holder Fabio Jakobsen in a clique who have won three times on this 2021 Vuelta.

"Having three from the same Tour, that's unbelievable," said Nielsen who thanked his teammate Lawson Craddock who was in the breakaway with him.

"I think winning stage six on that mountain was my favourite because we don't really have mountains in Denmark," he said.

This hilly 191km run from Tapia to Monfort de Lemos in Galicia featured 3200m of elevation and after a long struggle 11 riders escaped the main pack in a fast paced race.

In the relative cool of the lush green hills of this norther-western region, far from the sizzling south where temperatures hit 38 Celsius (100Fahrenheit) on the Costa del Sol, a reduced peloton of 35 tried but ultimately failed to reel in the day's escape.

"Believe me they made it hard for us, it wasn't easy in this hilly terrain," said Nielsen.

"It's amazing, I didn't start believing until the last 6km."

Jakobsen has an unassailable lead in the sprint points dash for the green jersey while Egan Bernal looks certain to mount the podium for the best under-25's white jersey.