Warren Barguil won stage 16 of the Vuelta a España on Monday in Sallent de Gállego, Spain. Barguil (Argos-Shimano) attacked from the day’s long breakaway to take his second victory in four days out of the 146-kilometer mountain stage from Graus.
Rigoberto Urán (Sky) was second in a photo finish and Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura) was third atop the Cat. 1 Aramón Formigal finish climb.
“It’s a very nice Vuelta for me,” said Barguil. “My [director] told me to stay in the bunch, to think about next week, but today I had very good legs. I attacked, and Urán came up to me. I am strong in a my sprint, and I wanted to save my legs for the sprint. I know Urán is very strong, so to win again is incredible. This has been an amazing Vuelta for me.”
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) defended his overall lead ahead of the Vuelta’s second rest day.
Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), and Chris Horner (RadioShack-Leopard) each made time games on Nibali, however, when the Sicilian was unable to follow late surges on the finish climb. The American, second overall, was able to pull back 22 seconds of his 50-second disadvantage.
“We all have one bad day,” said Rodríguez. “If this is Nibali’s bad day, he will be happy. Going into the last week, knowing Vincenzo, he will be able to handle the final week. I think it will be difficult for me, Valverde, or Horner to try to beat him, but we will try.”
Horner now trails Nibali by 28 seconds. Valverde is third overall, at 1:14.
“It was a very difficult finale. There was some strong headwind. I hoped to be better, but it was a steep finish, so that was it,” said Nibali. “I started to feel a little off in the last 3km. I’ve been feeling good, with the team around me, and the team has been working hard to protect. Tomorrow comes a nice rest day. We are still optimistic about the coming days. It’s going to be a hard final week. This Vuelta is starting to feel very long, with the transfers, with the pressure of the leader’s jersey.
The 68th Vuelta continues Wednesday with the 189km 17th stage, from Calahorra to Burgos. The Vuelta finishes Sunday in Madrid.