Slovenian sprinter Luka Mezgec claimed fourth place today for Team BikeExchange in a messy sprint finish to the 13th stage of La Vuelta a España, which saw gaps open and the peloton split inside the final three kilometres.
With a scattering of roundabouts in the final, Deceuninck-Quickstep put the hammer down, taking control at the head of the bunch, forcing the peloton into one line.
Mezgec began flying through the corners, trying to keep an eye on team leader, Michael Matthews behind, but due to the fast nature of the course the duo lost each other. Trying to limit losses, Mezgec continued towards the head of the strung out, split bunch and was able to salvage fourth place on the line.
Luka Mezgec – 4th place
“The team did really good until the crucial point of the day where we actually got blocked with about four kilometers to go, and the corner at three-kilometers to go was the point where you could not really move up after that.
We lost ourselves there, somehow I found Rob Stannard with about two kilometers to go, and I thought that Matthews was on my wheel. But it was hard, I was like kamikaze through the corners, I was just trying to get up there. I knew there was no time to move up other than going full gas into the corners.
The biggest mistake was not being at the front with three kilometers to go and I think that actually cost us the sprint and the result in the end.“
2021 La Vuelta – Stage 13 results:
1. Florian Senechal 4:58:23
2. Matteo Trentin ST
3. Alberto Dainese +0:02
4. Luka Mezgec (Team BikeExchange) +0:03