Sign up for our newsletter


Gallery: Champoussin shock on eventful final 2021 Vuelta road stage

AG2R-Citroën man wins Stage 20 ahead of Roglič and Yates, as López abandons

Martin James
5 Sep 2021

And they said the GC battle in this year’s Vuelta a Espana was over…

Admittedly both Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Enric Mas (Movistar) got through a hilly Stage 20 of the 2021 Vuelta relatively untroubled to cement their first and second place overall, but below them in the standings it was all change.

The unlikely winner of the stage itself was AG2R-Citroën’s Clement Champoussin, who was in a 16-man break that was reeled in well before the finish, yet somehow found the strength to go again in the final 2km of the steep finishing climb of the Alto Castro de Herville and take a famous win.

Roglič was next over the line just six seconds later, with Adam Yates (Ineos Grenadiers) taking a time bonus for third just ahead of Mas.

It was no less than Yates deserved. His Ineos team set a fierce pace to soften up the peloton over the climb-heavy second half of the stage, then Yates himself attacked to force a split among the main contenders.

Yates, Roglič, Mas and Bahrain Victorious pair Jack Haig and Gino Mäder were in front, Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) and Miguel Ángel López (Movistar) – third overall at the start of the day ­– were behind. With Bernal unwilling to work against Yates, the gap grew and grew and López’s dreams of a podium evaporated.

Bernal would eventually lose nearly 7 minutes by the time he crossed the line, while a devastated López didn’t even make it that far. He climbed off the bike with around 30km to go.

As a result, Haig now moves up to third overall, with Yates fourth and the increasingly impressive Mäder now up to fifth with just today’s final time-trial to go.

Here are Cyclist photographer Chris Auld’s impressions of the Vuelta’s final road stage:

Read more about: