A 2-time winner of the Tour de France thanks to his dominant performances at altitude, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) conquered the Tourmalet on stage 13 of La Vuelta 23. The Danish climber attacked with 8km to go and powered to victory after a relentless day of action over the Pyrenean summits. Sepp Kuss and Primoz Roglic controlled their rivals until they dropped them towards the summit to make it a historic 1-2-3 for Jumbo-Visma. Kuss, Roglic and Vingegaard also occupy the first three spots in the GC standings. Much further behind, Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) and mostly Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) were dropped with more than 90 kilometres to go and lost minutes.
A historic and gruelling day! The peloton of La Vuelta 23 face 4,000 metres of elevation on Pyrenean climbs with an unprecedented summit finish atop Tourmalet.
The road rises as soon as the riders start from Formigal. And attackers are inspired. Elie Gesbert (Arkéa Samsic) leads the first attack. Romain Bardet (DSM-Firmenich) goes first atop the Puerto de Portalet (km 4.4). But the peloton get back on the long downhill towards the ascent up Col d’Aubisque.
Almeida and Evenepoel dropped on the Aubisque
A flurry of attacks ensue on the iconic Pyrenean climb. But attackers can’t make their moves stick. The pace is relentless… So much so that the winner of La Vuelta 22 Remco Evenepoel (Soudal Quick-Step) is dropped, as well as Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates)!
Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ) leads the way to the summit. The GC contenders are right behind, except for Almeida, trailing by 30’’, and Evenepoel, already losing 1 minute to his rivals.
Landa and Vingegaard increase the pressure
Bahrain Victorious split the GC group on the downhill. Sepp Kuss and Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) are well up there. UAE Team Emirates bring the chasers back on the first slopes up Col de Spandelles. Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) and Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) launch more attacks with more than 60 kilometres to go. But their rivals react rapidly.
The situation settles on the 10.3km ascent (average gradient: 8.5%). Wilco Kelderman and Robert Gesink (Jumbo-Visma) drive the GC group, with less than 20 riders on their wheels. The gap to Almeida increases over 2 minutes, and Evenepoel trails by more than 5 minutes.
Vingegaard, Kuss and Roglic rule the Tourmalet
Jumbo-Visma still control the situation on the first slopes up the Col du Tourmalet (18.9km at 7.4%). Vingegaard sets off with 8km to go. Enric Mas (Movistar), Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) and Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bora-Hansgrohe) try to chase, with Sepp Kuss and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) on their wheels.
Kuss attacks with 1.5km to go to come 2nd on the line, 30 seconds behind Vingegaard. And Roglic finishes right behind him (+33’’), to make it a historic 1-2-3 on the iconic summit. The three leaders of Jumbo-Visma also take the top 3 positions in the overall standings.