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La Vuelta 2023 is well underway in its first week which has seen some magnificent cycling by all involved. More of this followed in today’s stage over 183,5 kilometres from La Vall d’Uixó to the second mountain finish at the Pico del Buitre and the Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre.
La Vuelta Stage 6 Report: Kuss wins at Pico del Buitre
This meant a continuous climb up through the rugged but beautiful Spanish countryside taking in two category three climbs: the Puerto de Arenillas after 48 kilometres and the Alto Fuente de Rubielos.
Once again, the early kilometres of the stage were marked by nervousness as riders tried to get into breakaway groups as well as a high pace. After 28 kilometres, a group consisting of Rui Costa (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) joins Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Dstny) and Diego Andres Camargo (EF Education-EasyPost) only had a gap of 11 seconds. They were later joined by Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH). It did not work as all four of them were caught even before the first climb of the day.
However, following a short downhill section, the peloton was split into two groups: forty riders at the front and the main bunch following behind. The team of race leader Remco Evenepoel, Soudal Quick-Step, tried to keep a tap on things but the attacks kept coming the moment a group or one attacker was caught. It was hectic.
Points along the Road
At the first of the climbs of the day, those three riders bagged some points.
- 1. J. Herrada (Cofidis) 3pts
2. O. Lopez(Movistar) 2pts
3. N. Prodhomme 1pts
Herrada added one more to his tally today by coming third at the Alto Fuente de Rubielos behind Soler and Rubio Reyes who came first and second, respectively. Soler had a successful day as he also won the intermediate sprint and bagged 20 points on top.
The running order at the intermediate sprint:
- 1. M. Soler (UAE Team Emirates) 20pts
2. O. L. Lopez (Movistar) 17pts
3. A. Kron (Lotto-DSTNY) 15pts
4. S. Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) 13pts
5. L. Martinez (Groupama -FDJ) 10pts
Due to his participation in a breakaway, Lenny Martinez rode in the virtual red jersey during the race. However, that later became reality!
It was a wonderful battle for the stage and the overall classification! Of the big group, only Bardet and Martinez managed to stay up front and were chasing Sepp Kuss. With less than 2 kilometres to ride, he had a cushion of 20 seconds.
— La Vuelta (@lavuelta) August 31, 2023
Meanwhile, Remco Evenpoel was not able to keep pace with Vingegaard and Roglic who both rode off the main bunch and had an advantage of almost 30 seconds. This meant he lost the red jersey – either to Kuss or Martinez, depending on how much time Kuss would make on the Frenchman.
The Top Ten of Stage 6
- 1. S. Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) 04h 27′ 29″
2. L. Martinez (Groupama – FDJ) +00′ 26″
3. R. Bardet (Team DSM-Firmenich) +00′ 31″
4. M. Landa (Bahrain Victorious) +00′ 46″
5. M. Soler (UAE Team Emirates) +00′ 46″
6. W. Poels (Bahrain Victorious) +01′ 03″
7. E. A. Rubio Reyes (Movistar) +01′ 05″
8. C. R. Martin (Team Arkea – Samsic) +01′ 12″
9. S. Cras (Total Energies) +01′ 12″
10. J. Cepeda (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) +01′ 26″
The Top Ten of the General Classification
The stage win for Sepp Kuss and the second place for Lenny Martinez meant a good shake-up of the top ten in the red jersey classification. Remco Evenepoel is now ninth overall with almost three minutes behind Martinez.
- 1. L. Martinez (Groupama – FDJ) 21h 40′ 35″
2. S. Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +00′ 08″
3. M. Soler (UAE Team Emirates) +00′ 51″
4. W. Poels (Bahrain Victorious) +01′ 41″
5. S. Cras (Total Energies) +01′ 48″
6. M. Landa (Bahrain Victorious) +01′ 58″
7. J. Cepeda (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) +02′ 06″
8. D. de la Cruz (Astana) +02′ 23″
9. R. Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) +02′ 47″
10. E. Mas (Movistar) +02′ 50″
King of the Mountain Ranking
The polka dot jersey saw no change of hands today although the holder Eduardo Sepulveda did not win any points. He still leads with 21 points ahead of today’s stage winner Sepp Kuss.
- 1. E. Sepulveda (Lotto-DSTNY) 21pts
2. S. Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) 10pts
3. R. Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) 10pts
4. M. Sobrero (Team Jayco AlUla) 6pts
5. J. R. Oliver (Astana) 6pts
6. L. Martinez (Groupama – FDJ) 6pts
7. J. Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 6pts
8. D. Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) 6pts
9. M. Soler (UAE Team Emirates) 5pts
10. J. Herrada (Cofidis) 4pts
Once again another thrilling stage at La Vuelta 2023 which brought a change in the overall lead. It promises another interesting stage tomorrow.
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