US professional cyclist Sepp Kuss is on the verge of overall victory at the 78th Vuelta a España. When the Dutchman Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) won on the penultimate stage in Guadarrama, the 29-year-old from Team Jumbo-Visma confidently defended the red jersey. At the finale on Sunday in Madrid, the leader is traditionally no longer attacked.
On the longest section at 207.8 kilometers with ten poisonous mountain classifications in the 3rd category, Poels won from a leading group by a narrow margin ahead of the Belgian Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step), thus preventing the still reigning Vuelta champion from taking the fourth victory of the day. Lennard Kämna (Wedel/Bora-hansgrohe), who was also part of the escape group, showed a strong performance but missed his second stage success in eighth place.
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Kiss fends off attempts to attack
Kuss, who finished 10:37 minutes behind, fended off all attempts to attack with the help of his teammates Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic – the trio crossed the finish line arm in arm. Tour winner Vingegaard and Giro champion Roglic, who had attacked their regular noble helper during the week, also no longer took action according to the team’s direction. In the overall standings, Kuss is 17 seconds ahead of Vingegaard and 1:08 minutes ahead of Roglic.
Jumbo-Visma will make cycling history on Sunday. Never before has a team managed to win all three major national tours in one calendar year. Roglic triumphed at the Giro d’Italia in May and Vingegaard triumphed at the Tour de France in July.
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