Jumbo-Visma dominate to leave Emirates Team UAE frustrated at Vuelta

Vingegaard claims stage win while Kuss retains overall lead

Danish rider Jonas Vingegaard of Jumbo-Visma celebrates his victory after the 13th stage of the Vuelta a Espana. EPA
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Jonas Vingegaard and his teammates crushed their rivals in the Spanish Vuelta’s 13th stage on Friday when the two-time Tour de France champion led a 1-2-3 finish for Jumbo-Visma atop the legendary Col du Tourmalet.

Vingegaard won the stage that started in Spain and crossed over into the French Pyrenees after he broke away on the final climb of the summit that is known as a classic finish in the Tour — a race which the Danish rider has won the last two years.

Sepp Kuss and Primoz Roglic, Vingegaard’s teammates, also pulled away from the last riders who tried to match their pace and completed the impressive display by the Dutch outfit.

Kuss, who is the first American rider to lead a Grand Tour since 2013, kept the red leader’s jersey. Roglic, who won three straight Vuelta editions from 2019-2021, was third.

Roglic moved into second overall in the general classification at 1 minute, 37 seconds behind Kuss. Vingegaard is third at 1:44 back.

There are still eight stages to go, with some tough mountains rides ahead, before the race finishes in Madrid on Sept. 17.

Vingegaard dedicated the stage win to his daughter, who was celebrating her birthday on Friday.

“I could not choose a better day, today is the birthday of my daughter,” Vingegaard said. “Our plan was to see if we could take some time from our opponents. I am just so proud for my daughter."

Remco Evenepoel’s bid to defend his Vuelta title suffered a devastating blow when the Belgian rider cracked on the first of the day’s three big climbs going up the Col d’Aubisque.

Evenepoel had started the day at third overall at just over a minute behind Kuss. He finished Friday nearly 28 minutes back.

Evenepoel had already been dropped when Jumbo-Visma positioned five riders in the 21 members of the shrinking peloton as they powered up the second climb of the day to crown the Col de Spandelles.

The nearest challenger to Jumbo-Visma is now Juan Ayuso of UAE Team Emirates at 2:37 back. Enric Mas of Movistar is 3:06 adrift.

Ayuso had two teammates – Marc Soler and João Almeida – also in contention for the race lead, only for both to fall well behind. Ayuso said that his goal is now a third-place finish.

“When they have the numbers and the talent, it is normal that they go for it like they did,” Ayuso said about Jumbo-Visma. “It was a bit frustrating for me. Everywhere I looked, I was surrounded by yellow,” he said in reference to the Jumbo-Visma’s yellow-and-black colors.

Saturday’s 156.5-kilometer (97-mile) 14th stage starts in France at Sauveterre-de-Béarn and after three big climbs ends in Spain at Larra-Belagua.

Updated: September 08, 2023, 5:57 PM