Crowned the sword! Wouter Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) won the penultimate stage of the Vuelta a España 2023, a leg-breaking 208.4 kilometer day held between the Madrid towns of Manzanares El Real and Guadarrama.
With a long sprint, the Dutch cyclist was the fastest of a group of five leaders who were part of the initial breakaway. Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) took second place and the young Spaniard Pelayo Sánchez (Burgos-BH) finished third.
The best Colombian of the longest day of the Iberian round was Einer Rubio (Movistar Team) from Boyacá in 10th place, 26 seconds behind the winner.
Sepp Kuss had no problems remaining as leader. The American crossed the finish line alongside Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic a few seconds after the other favorites. While the Colombian Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain – Victorious) remained in the top 10 overall.
In the first hour a large leading group emerged with 31 cyclists, which included the Colombian Einer Rubio (Movistar) and the mountain champion Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step), who had the support of his teammates James Knox, Mattia Cattaneo and Louis Vervaeke.
Marc Soler, Geraint Thomas, Andreas Kron, Romain Bardet, Rui Costa, Antonio Tiberi, Lennard Kämna, Wout Poels, Wilco Kelderman, Jimmy Janssens, Edward Planckaert, Sylvain Moniquet and Lennert Van Eetvelt also stood out during the break.
None of the escapees posed a threat to the red shirt of American Sepp Kuss, so Jumbo-Visma gave the attackers plenty of space. At one point, their lead reached 10 minutes.
The Spanish round will end this Sunday with the final stage, the walk of champions through the streets of Madrid, which will consist of 101 kilometers.
Classification Stage 20
Wout Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) 4:59’29”
Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) +0″
Pelayo Sánchez (Burgos-BH) +0″
Lennert Van Eetvelt (Lotto Dstny) +0″
Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) +4″
Rui Costa (Intermaché-Circus-Wanty) +26″
Antonio Tiberi (Bahrain-Victorious) +26″
Lennard Kamna (BORA-hansgrohe) +26″
Romain Bardet (Team DSM-firmenich) +26″
Einer Augusto Rubio (Movistar Team) +26″
Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +74h23’42”
Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +17”
Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1’08”
Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) +3’44”
Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) +4’03”
Enric Mas (Movistar Team) +4’14”
Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) +8’19”
Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bora-Hansgrohe) +8’26”
Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +10’08”
Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain-Victorious) +12’04”
Source: Revista Mundo Cíclístico