LENA, Spain — Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark made a solo charge on the final climb to win the 16th stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Monday, while Primoz Roglic finished strong to increase his overall lead.
It was the first stage win in a Grand Tour race for Fuglsang, who finished 22 seconds in front of Tao Geoghegan Hart and 40 seconds ahead of Luis Leon Sanchez.
"To win a stage was one of my goals coming here as well as helping the team and building my shape for the last part of the season. But one thing is to have a goal, another thing is to achieve it. I’m super happy with this win," Fuglsang said. "It’s been my best season ever. To win my first Grand Tour stage is really special."
Roglic held on to the leader’s red jersey for the seventh straight day by fending off late attacks by his closest challengers, including Miguel Angel Lopez and Tadej Pogacar. They all finished nearly six minutes behind Fuglsang.
"It was a hard day with a long last climb. And a good day for us in the end," said Roglic, the former ski jumper from Slovenia. "I don’t fear the last stages, I’m looking forward to them. I’m enjoying the race and so far it’s going really good for me and the team."
Roglic added 23 seconds to his lead over veteran Spaniard Alejandro Valverde, who could not keep up on the final climb of the 144-kilometre (89-mile) stage that finished with a beyond-category summit at the Alto de la Cubilla.
Pogacar and Lopez were nearly four minutes off the overall lead.
On Tuesday, riders get their last rest day before facing the decisive stretch of the three-week Grand Tour race that finishes on Sunday in Madrid.