- - Vuelta a España 2023 Stage 17

Vuelta a España 2023 Stage 17

photo credits @ La Vuelta

Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard made it 1-2 for their Jumbo-Visma team in stage 17 of the Vuelta a España today, reaching the summit of the mighty Altu de L’Angliru some 19-seconds ahead of their teammate and overall race leader Sepp Kuss, who managed to hang onto the red jersey by a mere 8-seconds after distancing Mikel Landa (Bahrain Victorious) on the descent to the finish.

Meanwhile, Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep), who went on the attack for the early mountains points, was caught and dropped along the last 5 kilometers of the Angliru.

Race Highlights

Evenepoel was amongst the first riders to attack at the start of stage 17, no doubt with his eyes on the Alto de la Colladiella and Alto del Cordal as he seeks to extend his lead in polka dots. Joining the Belgian on the attack were teammate Casper Pedersen, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Dstny) and Kim Heiduk (Ineos Grenadiers), but this was to be just the first of many formations that arose in the opening kilometers.

Time and time again, Evenepoel went on the move with different assortments of riders, but the peloton did not appear happy with the proceedings and ensured that no breakaway had yet amalgamated after 20km of racing. In fact, the first true breakaway came by accident rather than design, with the peloton falling victim to a crash and allowing five opportunistic riders to slide off the front, whilst the likes of UAE Team Emirates, Ineos Grenadiers and Burgos-BH tallied their wounded behind.

Thankfully, it appeared as though no riders were seriously injured and the peloton was soon back up to speed, but not before Mattia Cattaneo (Soudal Quick-Step), Larry Warbasse (AG2R Citroën), Chris Hamilton and Romain Combaud (both dsm-firmenich) and Lorenzo Germani (Groupama-FDJ) had managed to escape up the road.

With just over 30km raced, it seemed as though the peloton were content with this formation, but it wasn’t to be long before those who had missed out decided to mount a counter-attack. Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers), Edward Theuns (Lidl-Trek) and Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-EasyPost) all tried and failed to bridge the gap, with a dedicated chasing group eventually consisting of Evenepoel and five others

Eventually, Evenepoel and Cattaneo set off on their own, with the Italian leading the way to the base of the Alto del Cordal where Evenepoel was later left out front alone.

In the meantime, Marc Soler attacked from out of the peloton on the first ascent, gaining a gap of around 1:30 minutes maximum.

As a result, Bahrain – Victorious began to push in Cordal to make the catch, having big numbers in the front of the peloton. The gap to Evenepoel, which was around 3 minutes at its peak, began to lower. Soler was caught soon after the summit as the peloton began to lose serious numbers, all in preparation for the final ascent.

Evenepoel began the final climb with 1:30 minutes as Bahrain maintained their position. However, the catch was made with 5.5 kilometers to go, with the work of Wout Poels slowly decimated the group including Juan Ayuso and Enric Mas.

With 3 kilometers to go, Roglič hit the front, quickly dropping the Barhain riders. But, shortly after, Kuss was also dropped, with only Vingegaard able to follow Roglič.

Floundering in a world of trouble, Kuss was caught and passed by Landa. Team priorities quickly shifted away from Kuss – if they had ever been with the American – and Roglič paced Vingegaard under the flamme rouge.

Bobbing and weaving, Kuss fought valiantly to stick to the wheel of Landa, who rode well to limit the gap to Roglič and Vingegaard to just 19 seconds as the leading pair crossed the line in first and second, respectively.

Kuss was the most aggressive in the closing few hundred metres, visibly straining to retain his lead of the race and in doing so, he ensured that Jumbo-Visma would take another 1-2-3 finish as he rounded out the day’s podium in third.

After the first four riders, only Poels – at 44 seconds – and Almeida – at 58 seconds – finished within a minute of the eventual stage winner, Roglič.

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