Only the third stage and first contact with the mountains with the arrival of the race at the Pal-Arinsal resort in Andorra. A day in which more than half of the peloton arrived home and in which the weather gave a truce to the race after the two preceding gruesome days. A finish that was determined by the sprint of the group of favorites and in which Remco Evenepoel won easily.

The atypical start of La Vuelta a España 2023 did not offer the first hilltop finish in this third stage with a peloton heading towards Andorra on a 158 km route between Súria and Arinsal, with a rather demanding final part in which they chained the ports of Ordino and the final ascent to the aforementioned ski resort.

The start was very eventful, with a multitude of cyclists trying to find the escape despite the strong headwind that accompanied the peloton practically the entire day. Finally, after almost an hour of attacks and counterattacks, 11 cyclists came together at the head, with names like Pierre Latour, Eduardo Sepúlveda, Damiano Caruso or Lennard Kamna as the top contenders to fight for the stage and whose presence gave a good example of the level of the drain.

The stage entered in a waiting phase, with Jumbo-Visma and Soudal-QuickStep leading the race very quickly and keeping the breakaway advantage contained. Thus, the Principality of Andorra was reached with uncomfortable terrain, always stinging up the road that crosses this country from end to end towards the port of Envalira.

In the town of Canillo, the ascent to Ordino began where the tense calm continued while the breakaway began, leaving Caruso, Sepúlveda and Kamna in the lead, who managed to crown with barely 1 minute advantage. In the peloton, only a few timid moves by Jai Vine for UAE Team Emirates and Romain Bardet, trying to make good on the lead achieved in the team time trial a couple of days ago.

However, downstairs the peloton regrouped and a break that gave air to the escapees who for a few moments surely dreamed of being able to finish the stage.

After the start from La Massana, they reached the crossroads where the road separates between the one that leads to the Pal sector and the climb to Arinsal that the race faced today, point where the collaboration with a Lennard Kamna who made his bet ends. Caruso followed him a few dozen meters and Sepúlveda gave up definitively.

It wasn’t until passing through the town of Arinsal that UAE Team Emirates decided to move the tree, putting Jai Vine to work. A rhythm that annulled the advantage of the escapees in just one kilometer. Just when he was giving up, Marc Soler passed to the relay, who had just caught Caruso, at which point Juan Ayuso started, closely marked by Jonas Vingegaard who caught the wheel without difficulty, with Kuss and Roglic also easy while Enric Mas also arrived, but at his own pace, considering his status as a more diesel cyclist.

It was then the turn of the gregarious, with a Sep Kuss who tried to attack and whose hunt came out a plethoric Marc Soler, who managed to catch Kamna, almost the time they were hunted. Marc would try again with the last kilometer already in sight but unsuccessfully, which left us with the last few hundred meters in which the victory would be disputed by sprint between the group of favourites. A fight where the top favorite is always Primoz Roglic.

However, the Slovenian did not have his usual spark today and he could not do anything against the huge start of Remco Evenepoel 200 meters from the finish line. Jonas Vingegaard tried to catch up, however, just when he reached his wheel, at the exit of the last corner, the Belgian still had another change of pace with which he even managed to chop a second which, added to the bonus for the triumph, placed him as a leader.

The anecdote of the finish was that, in full celebration and with the speed at which he launched the bike, Remco ran out of room to brake in the meager finish area and ended up stopping against an auxiliary, suffering a spectacular tumble that ended with a no less spectacular cut on the eyebrow that left his entire face bloody.

Now a couple of days arrive that should be calm for the favorites before the next appointment with the mountain, next Thursday the 31st on the way to the Javalambre observatory.

Classification Stage 3

1.-Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) 4h15’39”

2.- Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +1”

3.- Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) m.t.

4.- Prizo Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) m.t.

5.- Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) m.t.

6.- Enric Mas (Movistar Team) m.t.

7.- Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ) m.t.

8.- Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bora-Hansgrohe) m.t.

9.- Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) m.t.

10.- Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) m.t.

General ranking

2.- Enric Mas (Movistar Team) +05’’

3.- Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ) +11’’

4.- Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +31’’

5.- Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) +33’’

6.- Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bora-Hansgrohe) m.t.

7.- Romain Bardet (DSM-Firmenich) +35’’

8.- Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain-Victorious) m.t.

9.- Wilco Kelderman (Jumbo-Visma) +37’’

10.- Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) m.t.