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35 km to go: After the toasts, the prestigious sprint in the center of Madrid approaches



The start of the last stage at 17:19, the end around 20:00

Today is the end of the 78th Race of Spain, which in three weeks brought an unusual outcome: the final victory will not be enjoyed by the captain, but by his assistant – the American cyclist Sepp Kuss from the Jumba Visme team.

The last stage, where it will only be a toast to the best and ultimately a festival of sprinters, started at the Zarzuela Racecourse at 5:19 p.m. and ended around 8 p.m. after nine laps of 5.8 km in the center of Madrid.

The caravan used the first 45 kilometers for toasting and taking pictures, upon arrival at the city circle around Cibeles square however, the victorious Jumbo Visma team retreated and the ground began to be prepared for an attack and the expected final mass sprint.

On the winner’s stage of the overall total, there will be Sepp Kuss two more members of Jumba Visma: Jonas Vingegaard and Primož Rogličwho will add a third place to his three victories at the Vuelta.

Bees and Kuss into cycling history

Jumbo Visma is the first team to win all three three-week tests in one year, after Roglič won the Tour of Italy and Vingegaard won the Tour of France. Kuss wore the red jersey of the leader after the eighth stage, then he did a perfect time trial and kept the lead even on long and steep climbs such as Tourmalet and Angliru, after which the team bosses decided that the free hands and feet and mutual attacks were over.

For the second time in the history of the three-week race, the entire victory podium is occupied by riders from the same team, previously only the Spanish team managed to do this Kas–Kaskol on La Vuelta 1966. when they even had six riders in the top seven in a heavily diluted competition. For good measure, Jumbo Visma of course also won the special team classification, with a 22 minute lead over Bahrain Victorious.

In a long and rich cycling history, Kuss became only the second rider to ride all three Grand Tours in a season and win one of them. Before the American, only the Italian managed such a miraculous feat to Gastone Nencini distant in 1957. He was ninth in Spain, then he won his home race in Italy, and then he was sixth in France.

All white shirts emirates

If Jumbo Visma managed to win all the three-week races with three different riders, the UAE Emirates team managed to win the white jersey for the best young rider with three riders: Joao Almeida (Giro), Tadej Pogačar (Tour) and Juan Ayuso (Vuelta). The latter just turned 21 years old and, with fourth place, is the best Spaniard on his home Grand Tour.

Dotted to last year’s champion, the Australian first sprinter

A total eclipse in the Tourmalet stage eliminated him Remce Evenepoel from trying to defend last year’s overall victory. The 23-year-old Belgian consoled himself with the polka-dot shirt for the best hillclimber and with as many as three stage victories for the Soudal QuickStep team. The green jersey according to points for the best sprinter became the property of the Australian Groves’ tubwhose Alpecin Deceuninck team also won the green jersey at the Tour de France this year.

“Roglič is our king and it’s hard to let go of a king”

The 78th Vuelta will stir up spirits for a long time, the question is increasingly in the foreground whether Primož Roglič (he did not hide his disapproval that the team bosses finally determined the final order at this year’s Race around Spain) will leave Jumba Visma. Richard Plugge when asked by TV Slovenija how he comments on the increasingly loud rumors about the strong interest of several teams in Roglič, he answered: “I don’t know anything about rumours… I love Primož. He has been in the team for a long time. With Dylan (Grönewegnom) have brought victories to the team, which makes him extremely important for us. It shows that he is a real leader and a strong personality. That’s why he’s with us, and that’s why we hope he’ll stay with us for a long time.”

For GCN, which is part of the Discovery/Eurosport group, Plugge provided interesting answers on the same topic. So can Roglič change the team? “No one approached us. Roglič is our king, as I have already written in previous messages, and it is still the case. He has won the overall classification in just about every race this year except this one, and has amassed 15 wins this year. Why would you consider dropping it anywhere else? Roglič is our king and it is difficult to let go of the king.”

The Vuelta will start in Portugal next year
Lisbon will host the opening stage 79 on August 18 for the second year. Races in Spain and Portugal will be followed by two more stages, the organizers confirmed before the last stage. The opening stage will be a time trial starting in Lisbon and finishing in Oeiras. From Cascais, the next day the caravan will go to Ourem. The third stage will take place between Lousa and Castello Branco. In 1997, it happened for the first time that the Vuelta a Espana started abroad, namely in Lisbon, which will host the fifth big start of the fight for red abroad in the summer of 2024. Lisbon 1997 was followed by Assen 2009, Nimes 2017 and Utrecht 2022. La Vuelta 24 will traditionally end in Madrid on Sunday, September 8. The entire route will be presented at the turn of the year.


Last, 21st, stage: Hipodromo de la Zarzuela–Madrid, 101.5 km

The last stage is completely flat, the winner of the stage will almost certainly be decided by the sprint of the main group, while no changes are expected in the total.  Photo: Organizer

Overall order after the 20th stage

  1. S. KUSS            ZDA   74:23:42 
  2. J. VINGEGAARD      DAN      +0:17 
  3. P. ROGLIC          SLO       1:08 
  4. J. AYUSO           ŠPA       3:44 
  5. M. LANDA           ŠPA       4:03 
  6. E. MAS             ŠPA       4:14 
  7. A. VLASOV          RUS       8:19 
  8. C. UIJTDEBROEKS    BEL       8:26 
  9. J. ALMEDIA         POR      10:08 
 10. S. BUITRAGO        KOL      12:04 
 11. S. CRASS           BEL      14:30 
 12. R. EVENEPOEL       BEL      17:10 
 38. J. TRATNIK         SLO    1:57:16 
134. D. NOVAK           SLO    4:03:15 
135. M. GOVEKAR         SLO    4:05:08 

Source: Rtvslo

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