Kuss Climbs to Victory in Stage 6 of La Vuelta a Espana 2023
Race organizer Unipublic had designed stage 6 of La Vuelta a España 2023 as an important battle in the Spanish mountains. The route invited the general classification favorites to compete for valuable seconds on a 183.1-kilometer route from La Vall d’Uixo to Observatorio Astrofisico de javalaambre. The stage included two category three climbs and concluded on the challenging Alto de Javalambre (category 1; 11.1 km; 7.8% average incline) with incline percentages of up to 11.2.
The stage was dominated by a large breakaway that was established early. The group of hopefuls featured approximately forty riders and included significant riders that were a potential threat to Remco Evenepoel’s Vuelta dominance. The group established a significant advantage, and it did not include the Belgian race leader, nor most of the other most obvious favorites to take the overall victory in this year’s race.
Soudal-QuickStep and Ineos-Grenadiers were working hard at the front of the main peloton most of the day to reduce the advantage of the front group. While the breakaway group at one point had an advantage of more than seven minutes, the difference between the groups was gradually reduced. With twenty kilometers left, the advantage of the breakaway hopefuls was down to three minutes, but in the next ten kilometers the advantage then expanded to four minutes.
Big names were dropped from the front group when it entered the Alto de Javalambre. Riders such as Jan Tratnik, Dylan van Baarle, Rui Costa, and Jesus Herrada were dropped. Groupama-FDJ’s Michael Storer was setting a fast pace at the front for Lenny Martinez and Rudy Molard.
Movistar’s Einer Rubio attacked from the front with 4.2 kilometers left. He was not targeting the general classification but was rather aiming for the stage victory. Team DSM’s Romain Bardet and Lenny Martinez (Movistar) bridged the gap to him. Sepp Kuss attacked for Jumbo-Visma.
In the main peloton Primoz Roglic launched an attack. Evenepoel appeared to be in trouble as he could not respond to Roglic’ acceleration. Aleksandre Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe), Enric Mas (Movistar), and Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) accelerated to bridge the gap to Roglic. The groups merged.
Meanwhile, at the front, Kuss attacked and soloed towards the finish line. He looked destined to take the stage victory.
Kuss’ great climbing skills secured him the stage victory. Kuss crossed the finish line in solo fashion as winner of stage 6 of La Vuelta a España 2023.
Martinez won the sprint for second place, while Bardet completed the stage podium. Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) finished fourth, while Marc Soler took fifth for UAE Team Emirates.
Roglic and Vingegaard crossed the finish line together, while Evenepoel reached the finish approximately thirty seconds later.
The strong performance from Lenny Martinez also brought him the general classification lead. He is now eight seconds ahead of Kuss and 51 seconds ahead of Soler. Evenepoel is ninth, 02:47 minutes behind. Vingegaard is eleventh, 02:52 behind, while Roglic is twelfth with a 02:58 minute deficit.
Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com for news from La Vuelta a Espana 2023.
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