Kuss - Roglic, Jumbo-Visma rule in the Asturias
September 8 th 2019 - 17:57
More and more success for Jumbo-Visma at La Vuelta 19: Sepp Kuss has soloed away from his breakaway companions to take his first Grand Tour win atop the Puerto del Acebo while his leader Primoz Roglic proved once again to be too strong for his rivals. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) attacked the Slovenian with 7km to go but there was no shaking ‘Rogla’. The youngsters Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) finished together, 41” behind Valverde and Roglic, who holds on to La Roja on the eve of another summit finish atop the Alto de la Cubilla.
The intensity is high from the start, with riders trying to go for the early break away and Movistar setting a high tempo as they aim to isolate Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) early in the stage. Marc Soler (Movistar Team) attacks in the first ascent up the Puerto del Acebo (8.2km at 7.1%) and a group of 17 attackers get away in the downhill and the valley after 54km of hard racing: Marc Soler (Movistar Team), Quentin Jauregui (AG2R La Mondiale), Ion Izagirre (Astana Pro Team), Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida), Pawel Poljanski (Bora-Hansgrohe), Lawson Craddock (EF Education First), Sander Armée (Lotto-Soudal), Tsgabu Grmay (Mitchelton-Scott), Ben O’Connor (Team Dimension Data), Tao Geoghegan Hart, Vasil Kiryienka (Team Ineos), Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Dani Navarro, Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha-Alpecin), José Herrada (Cofidis), Óscar Rodríguez, Sergio Samitier (Euskadi-Murias).
Jumbo-Visma control the gap around 3 minutes in the second climb of the day, the cat-1 Puerto del Connio (11.7km at 6.2%). Sergio Samitier attacks at the bottom of the penultimate climb, the Puerto del Pozo de las Mujeres Muertas. Ben O’Connor and Dani Navarro join him with 45.5km to go and they open differences at the summit (40.1km to go): the chasers trail by 1’45” and the gap to the bunch is up to 5’23” with Jumbo-Visma still setting the pace.
Valverde with Roglic, Lopez with Pogacar
The chasing group is back only 15” behind the leading trio when Sergio Samitier attacks again, with 17km to go. Vasil Kiryienka joins him with 11.5km to go, only to be dropped in the first slopes up the the second ascent of the Puerto del Acebo. The chasers are 40” behind. Sepp Kuss catches Samitier and drops him 6.5km away from the summit.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar Team) opens the game between the GC contenders with 7km to go. Only Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) follows him. With 3km to go, they’ve opened a 29” gap to Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates), Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana) and Rafal Majka (Bora-Hansgrohe). Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team) is 25” further behind.
Sepp Kuss keeps riding strong at the front and soloes to victory, 39” ahead of Ruben Guerreiro. Roglic and Valverde finish together, at 2’14”. Miguel Angel Lopez and Tadej Pogacar drop 41” on the leader of La Vuelta 19 and Nairo Quintana loses 1’36”.