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Gallery: Third time the charm for Vuelta birthday boy Fabio Jakobsen

Third sprint success on Stage 16 the perfect present for delighted Deceuninck-QuickStep green jersey wearer

Robyn Davidson
1 Sep 2021

Deceuninck-QuickStep’s Fabio Jakobsen sprinted to his third victory of this year’s Vuelta a España on his 25th birthday yesterday.

Stages 4, 8 and 16 have now all been claimed by Jakobsen – a long way from when he was recovering in a hospital bed last year after a horrifying crash at the Tour of Poland that cast doubt over whether he would even ride again.

Following his success yesterday, a clearly delighted Jakobsen said, ‘I got dropped but my teammates kept me in front. It’s my birthday today, but I’m happy to give them this victory as a gift to them all as well.’

The finish in Santa Cruz de Bezana saw Jakobsen initially struggle to stay in contention in a tricky final kilometre, but he took up the perfect position at just the right time to outsprint Jordi Meeus (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) in the final drag.

The win saw the Dutch sprinter extend his lead in the green jersey competition, his total of 250 points now well clear of his nearest rival Trentin on 123 points.

While there are no more sprint finishes at this year's Vuelta for Jackobsen and the Deceuninck-QuickStep leadout train to target, he will at least have a strong team to help over the mountains before the final stage individual time-trial on Sunday.

‘I have to get over those mountains. But my teammates will stay with me, and if I stay healthy and on my bike, the green jersey is a reachable goal,’ Jakobsen added.

Odd Christian Eiking still holds the red jersey for Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert by 54 seconds over Cofidis’ Guillaume Martin and 1:36sec over Jumbo-Visma’s Primož Roglič, potentially setting up an explosive fight for the general classification over the last few days in the mountains.

Sounds great for those of us watching at home, probably less so for Fabio Jakobsen.

In the meantime, check out photographer Chris Auld's image selection from Stage 16:

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