A Grand Groves

La Vuelta 2022 | Stage 11 | ElPozo Alimentación > Cabo de Gata

Kaden Groves (BikeExchange-Jayco) took his first Grand Tour stage win on day 11 of La Vuelta, a fast and furious sprint on the Mediterranean coast. A few hours after his GC leader Simon Yates had to leave the race, the young Australian sprinter got the best of Danny van Poppel (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Deceuninck) to take his biggest victory in Cabo de Gata. Remco Evenepoel (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) retained La Roja but he lost a precious teammate as the world champion Julian Alaphilippe crashed out of the race.

On the day after an explosive ITT in Alicante, the peloton of La Vuelta 22 face a mostly flat 191.2km stage from ElPozo Alimentacion (Alhama de Murcia) to Cabo de Gata, with long stretches along the coast and a 3.5km final straight entirely exposed. Simon Yates (BikeExchange-Jayco) and Pavel Sivakov (Ineos Grenadiers) are among the five riders forced to withdraw due to Covid-19.

The sprinters control the day

Three baroudeurs attack from the start: Jetse Bol (Burgos-BH), Vojtech Repa (Kern Pharma) and Joan Bou (Euskaltel-Euskadi). After 10km of racing, their lead on the bunch is up to 4 minutes.

Tim Merlier’s Alpecin-Deceuninck are the first to react. They are quickly joined by Dan McLay’s Arkea-Samsic, Mads Pedersen’s Trek-Segafredo. Kaden Groves’ BikeExchange-Jayco also pull the bunch to control the day.

Groves speeds up

The peloton ride through the stage safely until Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) hits the deck with 64km to go. The world champion quickly indicates he suffers from his right shoulder. He is evacuated in an ambulance.

At the front, Jetse Bol drops his breakaway companions with 52km to go. Joan Bou and Vojtech Repa are quickly caught by the bunch, also pulled by Bora-Hansgrohe. Bol is eventually reeled in with 26km to go.

The peloton control the race until the final sprint. BikeExchange-Jayco launch Kaden Groves and the 23 year old Australian shows the speed he has built on the track to take victory ahead of Danny van Poppel and Tim Merlier.

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