Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) claimed his third stage win of La Vuelta 23 in Madrid, but with a very different scenario! The Australian sprinter followed Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) and Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers) as they put the hammer down on the closing circuit, leading to a thrilling finale of the Spanish Grand Tour. The peloton came back inside the last kilometre but Groves still managed to sprint to victory. He is also the first Australian winner of the points standings of La Vuelta. As he crossed the line alongside his Jumbo-Visma teammates, Sepp Kuss took his first Grand Tour victory after he helped his companions Jonas Vingegaard (2nd in the overall standings) and Primoz Roglic (3rd) conquer six three-week events in recent years.
The last parade! After three weeks of battle, Madrid is in sight for the peloton of La Vuelta 23.
The start from the La Zarzuela Hippodrome is the opportunity for riders to celebrate their accomplishments over the last three weeks and the fact that they’ve made it over the demands of the last Grand Tour of the year. Jumbo-Visma wear a special jersey with Rosa, Jaune and Roja bands to highlight their successes in the Giro d’Italia, the Tour de France and La Vuelta.
Evenepoel and Ganna put the hammer down
The intensity picks up as the riders enter the final circuit, to be covered nine times. Alpecin-Deceuninck control the first two laps and Kaden Groves dominates the intermediate sprint to all but seal victory in the points standings.
Nico Denz, Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Rui Costa (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) are the first attackers to open a gap with 44km to go. And then Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) sets off to bridge the gap with Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers). Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) follows their move.
Into the last 30km, the peloton trail by 20 seconds. The gap is still up to 15 seconds with 15km to go. And it’s the same gap into the last lap (5.8km).
The peloton get back with 500 metres to go… But Groves still manages to sprint to victory ahead of Ganna!
Sepp Kuss crosses the line with his teammates and celebrates his first Grand Tour victory after being a key domestique in Jumbo-Visma’s previous successes.