Lennard Kämna just missed his second stage win on the 15th day of racing at the Vuelta. The German BORA - hansgrohe rider was part of a three-man leading group in the last kilometres. Despite a late crash, he fought his way back to the front of the race, but had to admit defeat in Lekunberri.
After two difficult mountain stages, an undulating parcours was on the programme today. The first part was not demanding, but the finale featured several climbs and the parcours offered a good chance for the break.
A leading group including Lennard Kämna and Nico Denz formed only around halfway through the stage. On the last climb of the Puerto de Zuarrarrate, only Costa and Buitrago were out front, while a chasing group containing Kämna was about 30 seconds behind. However, the German rider managed to catch up with the leading duo 2km ahead of the KOM and then opened up a small gap on the descent. Unfortunately, he locked up in a corner at about 3km from the finish and crashed into the grass. Although he then fell behind the duo, he managed to fight his way back to them. Kämna then received a second chance at the win on the finishing straight in Lekunberri and the stage was decided in a three-man sprint. The German was the first to open his sprint and had a small lead, but was overtaken by the Portuguese former World Champion and had to admit defeat by a narrow margin.
01 R. Costa 3:30:56
02 L. Kämna +0:00
03 S. Buitrago +0:00
From the Finish Line
“I was feeling pretty good today and I’m disappointed that I wasn’t able to finish it off with the win. I think if I wouldn’t have crashed ahead of the finale, I would have had a really good chance of taking my second Vuelta stage victory. At the time that I hit the deck, I had a small gap on Costa and Buitrago, but I took a bit too much risk and crashed in the corner. I’m surprised that I actually was able to make it back and have a second chance at taking the win. When I came back, I knew that they would be expecting me to make a move, so I played poker a bit and decided to wait for the final sprint. In the finishing straight, everything was spur of the moment. At one point I was out front and then I just decided to open up my sprint with around 200m remaining. I had a small gap, but in the end, Costa managed to overtake me and cross the line first. But all in all, I think it was a strong performance today, I was feeling good, and I’m not hurt after my crash, which is a relief.” - Lennard Kämna