On the day after he claimed another victory in Catalunya (Tarragona), Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) sprinted to victory in Burriana (Valencia), where he got the best of Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) and Dries Van Gestel (Total Energies). This win is the 20th for an Australian rider in La Vuelta, with Groves joining Michael Matthews as the best Aussie scorers in the Spanish Grand Tour (3 victories each). Back to back wins in La Vuelta were only achieved by John Degenkolb (2014) and Sam Bennett (2022) in recent years. Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) chased bonus seconds on the eve of another mountain showdown up the Alto de Javalambre.
It’s a nervous start from Morella, with a peloton wary of crosswinds that could turn the race upside down on the way to a seaside finish in Burriana. Eddie Dunbar (Jayco AlUla) crashes in the neutral start and is forced to abandon. Riders try to get away as soon as the flag drops but the peloton don’t give them any margin.
Fagundez shines for Uruguay
After 16 kilometres of battle, Eric Fagundez (Burgos-BH) sets off and makes the break of the day. At the end of his first season in the WorldTour, the young rider shows his colour at the front as the third Uruguayan to ever participate in La Vuelta.
After 60 kilometres of racing, the gap reaches a maximum of 5’30’’. Alpecin-Deceuninck drive the bunch with Jason Osborne setting the pace on the day after Kaden Groves won in Tarragona.
Sepulveda chases the KOM points
The gap is down to 1’50’’ at the bottom of the cat-2 climb up Collado de Ibola (to be summited with 53.7km to go). Already a history maker as the first Argentinian to ever lead a standing in a Grand Tour, Eduardo Sepulveda (Lotto Dstny) sets off to bridge the gap to Fagundez and score more KOM points ahead of another mountain stage on Thursday.
Sepulveda catches Fagundez with 3km to go to the summit and drops a kilometre further up the road. At the summit, the Argentinian rider takes 5 KOM points. The peloton trail by 1’08’’.
The intermediate sprint for Evenepoel, the bunch sprint for Groves
Fagundez is caught by the bunch with 41km to go. Sepulveda is still 20’’ ahead. He is caught 3 kilometres further, with Alpecin-Deceuninck still driving the bunch.
Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) makes the most of the intermediate sprint to take 6 bonus seconds ahead of Kaden Groves.
The intensity keeps rising until the last kilometre. Alpecin-Deceuninck launch the sprint for Groves, who delivers another victory just ahead of Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers).