Jakobsen: ‘I was fastest, I think’

Fabio Jakobsen celebrates strength, speed and good timing after winning stage 8 of the Vuelta by a bike length.

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At the end of an ‘easy’ day on pan flat roads, Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) surged out of the disorganised bunch to take an emphatic victory on stage 8 of the Vuelta a España.

“It’s very special to be here again. The team did a perfect job,” Jakobsen said after celebrating his second stage win of the week. “They kept the speed high and even though I lost them a little bit I was still in a good position. I launched my sprint just in the corner at 200 to go and I was the fastest, I think.”

There were several sprint teams jostling for control in the hectic run-in, but Jakobsen kept a cool head and found the space he needed to come through the middle. He seemed to open up his sprint fairly early, but once he got going no one could gain an inch. 

Four days after winning stage 4, Saturday’s victory means that the 24-year-old has finished in the top two in every sprint so far at the Vuelta, losing out only to Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix).

“It was about being strong, fast, and it’s about timing,” Jakobsen explained. “In a finish like this you need to be on time. I’ve been twice too late and this time I was perfectly right, and I could do a full sprint to the line.”

At the Vuelta a España in 2019, the Dutch sprinter won two stages including the grand finale into Madrid. Two years and a fairytale comeback later Jakobsen has done it again, and all before the first rest day.

“It means that – two years ago I won twice,” he said. “I’m just extremely happy and grateful to be here. I’d like to thank the team again. Patrick Lefevere [team manager] is here today and I’m sure he’s happy. This is what we’ll keep on doing – try to win sprints.”

Along with stage honours, Jakobsen also goes back into the green jersey as leader of the points classification. He’s just 16 points clear of Philipsen, but there are more than 100 points between the Dutchman and the rest of the pack.

“I think as a sprinter, you want to wear the green jersey,” Jakobsen said. “We all saw at the Tour de France, where Cavendish won four stages and he won the green jersey. That’s a huge motivation and inspiration for me. I’m happy to be in the green jersey. I’m a sprinter, and it’s for the sprinters, so I’m very happy with that.”

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