Vuelta a Espana: Pedersen claims hat-trick of stage wins to tighten grasp on green jersey

·2-min read

Mads Pedersen brought up a hat-trick of stage wins across the 2022 Vuelta a Espana, claiming stage 19 with a powerful sprint in Talavera de la Reina.

Pedersen, who was also victorious over stages 13 and 16, saw off challenges from Fred Wright and Gianni Vermeersch over a 138.3-kilometre stretch on Friday, adding to his lead in the Points Classification.

Remco Evenepoel, meanwhile, retained La Roja and is closing in on an overall victory after a long downhill ride to the line prevented any challengers from gaining time on the race leader.

Brandon McNulty, Jonathan Caicedo and Ander Okamika led a three-man breakaway at the outset of the twin-mountain stage, comprising two laps of a circuit containing the Puerto del Pielago climb, but they were hauled back with 49 kilometres remaining.

Pedersen's Trek-Segafredo team then fended off several attacks as the stage built towards a bunch sprint, in which Pedersen turned on the style to beat Wright to another important triumph.

"It was definitely really hard to control the bunch today but man, the team did so impressive. Everybody was so dedicated and working really hard," Pedersen said after crossing the line.

"It's never easy in a final like this, it's a lot of good guys in the peloton in the end. I was really happy with the speed the boys could keep at the end.

"Three wins is of course super, super nice. Tomorrow we have to finish the day and then in Madrid we'll see how it goes. But I think no matter what, we can be really happy with these three weeks in Spain."

Pedersen secures treble

As well as extending his commanding lead in the Points Classification standings, Pedersen's win made him the first rider to bring up three stage victories in this year's race. The Dane moves clear of Sam Bennett, Jay Vine, Evenepoel and Richard Carapaz, who have two wins apiece this year.

Pedersen had managed just one stage victory at Grand Tours ahead of the Vuelta, taking stage 13 at the Tour de France in July.

STAGE RESULT

1. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) 3:19:11
2. Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) same time
3. Gianni Vermeersch (Alpecin-Deceuninck) same time
4. Ben Turner (INEOS Grenadiers) same time
5. Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) 73:18:23
2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:07
3. Juan Ayuso Pesquera (UAE Team Emirates) +5:14

Points Classification

1. Mads Pedersen (Trek-Segafredo) 379
2. Fred Wright (Bahrain Victorious) 174
3. Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) 133

King of the Mountains

1. Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) 50
2. Enric Mas (Movistar) 26
3. Thymen Arensman (Team DSM) 23