Race report

Jasha Sütterlin 10th in reduced bunch sprint finish

Vuelta a España

Photo Credit: Cor Vos

Stage 16 at the Vuelta a España saw the peloton take on a rolling and hilly 162 kilometre long parcours from Salamanca to Ciudad Rodrigo. As in previous days, there was a big fight to make the day’s breakaway with numerous attacks in the opening 15 kilometres as a strong wind buffeted the peloton. Eventually the elastic snapped and a six rider group went clear, with all Team Sunweb riders in the peloton.

Akin to yesterday, the gap to the break grew to five minutes before some sprint teams took over the pace setting and kept the gap steady. However as the peloton began the Cat-1 climb, the GC teams took over and dramatically upped the tempo which caused the gap to tumble, with riders jettisoned off the back of the bunch. A reduced peloton of around 40 riders approached the finale, catching last-man standing from the break Cavagna, with around three kilometres to go. Michael Storer and Robert Power did a good job of moving Jasha Sütterlin towards the front of the bunch, before Sütterlin dug deep in the sprint to the line – finishing a solid tenth place on the stage.

“Our first plan of the day was for the crosswinds but nothing really happened there,” explained Sütterlin at the finish. “A group managed to escape and the bunch let them go, before the peloton started to go harder and harder over the climbs. I was able to make it over the climbs, with Michael and Rob always with me, keeping me in a good position. I felt really good in the final and the guys brought me into a good position with around one kilometre to go. I wanted to stay on the wheels of the others and wait until the last moment to start my sprint but I got a little boxed out and caught the wind a bit too early. Everyone else started their sprint and I tried everything but there was nothing more than tenth position. I want to thank the team, the guys did a great job in the final for me, it couldn’t have been better. I’m also a little disappointed as I had the legs and messed it up a bit by going too early.” 

Team Sunweb coach Marc Reef added: “There was a lot of wind expected in the start and we expected a big fight there but it turned out nothing really happened there. A group of six guys went out front and we focused on the basics; staying in a good position and trying to save energy. On the first categorised climb of the day there was a tricky descent so we took it in a good position. Over the top we still had Jasha, Rob and Michael in the group of around 50 riders. It was a fast chase going down to the finish to try and catch Cavagna, where we played the card of Jasha. The guys placed him well at around 800 metres to go, but he took the wind a little too early and ended up in a good tenth place. Tomorrow it’s the last mountain stage and we’re looking forward to it with the guys.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 CORT Magnus EF Pro Cycling 4:04:35 100
2 ROGLIČ Primož Team Jumbo-Visma ,, 40
3 SMITH Dion Mitchelton-Scott ,, 20
9 SÜTTERLIN Jasha Team Sunweb ,, -
35 POWER Robert Team Sunweb 0:10 -
42 STORER Michael Team Sunweb 0:37 -
65 DONOVAN Mark Team Sunweb 10:24 -
66 ARENSMAN Thymen Team Sunweb ,, -
73 KANTER Max Team Sunweb ,, -