An outstanding stage 6 of La Vuelta delivered historic results at the Observatorio Astrofisico de Javalambre. The American climber Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), participating in his third Grand Tour of the year, was the strongest from an impressive breakaway to take victory ahead of Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ). The French wonderkid becomes the overall leader at 20 years old! Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) ganged up against Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) to gain 30 seconds on the Belgian star. La Vuelta 23 started less than a week ago and the GC battle is already in full swing!
After two sprints dominated by Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck), La Vuelta 23 heads back to the mountain with a summit finish at the Observatorio Astrofisico de Javalambre, atop the cat-1 ascent of the Pico del Buitre (10.9km at 8%). With a prestigious stage win to claim, and potentially La Roja on the line, attackers are very much inspired.
An impressive battle towards Javalambre
It takes 70 kilometres of extremely hard battle for a group of 42 attackers to eventually make the break, including 11 riders from the GC top 25: Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ), Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates), Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Steff Cras (Total Energies), Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious), Jefferson Cepeda (Caja Rural-Seguros RGA), David De La Cruz (Astana Qazaqstan), Rémy Rochas (Cofidis), Juanpe Lopez (Lidl-Trek), Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious), Hugh Carthy (EF Education-EasyPost) and Attila Valter (Jumbo-Visma). Andreas Kron (Lotto Dstny), already a stage winner in Barcelona, is also up there.
Soudal Quick-Step, Ineos Grenadiers and Movistar work together to control the break. The gap goes as high as 7 minutes. It quickly drops down towards the main ascent of the day… But at the bottom of the climb to the Observatorio Astrofisico de Javalambre, an already seriously reduced peloton still trails by 3’50’’.
Kuss, Martinez, Roglic… What a showdown!
Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ) sets the pace at the front for Martinez. Einer Rubio (Movistar) attacks with 4 kilometres to go. Romain Bardet (DSM-Firmenich) and Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ) are the quickest to react but Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) gets back to them and goes solo inside the last 3 kilometres. At the summit, he wins 26’’ ahead of Martinez… who takes La Roja 6’’ ahead of the American climber!
In the GC group, Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) attacks with 4km to go as well. Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) can’t react while Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) his Slovenian teammate at the front. The two of them collaborate to gain 7’’ on Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates), 14’’ on Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) and Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bora-Hansgrohe), 24’’ on Enric Mas (Movistar) and 32’’ on Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step).