© Vuelta a Espana

Vuelta a Espana: Kuss, the triumph of a model teammate

Though he came to support Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard, Sepp Kuss succeeded in climbing on the highest step of the Vuelta a Espana podium, winning his first Grand Tour.

From his first stage in red to his ultimate coronation as victor, his slight smile, restrained, and a bit embarrassed, never left him. In his first interview after the end of the Vuelta, Sepp Kuss was still “struggling to realize what he had achieved.” The American won the Vuelta a Espana at the age of 29. A clear and flawless success, which no one had anticipated three weeks earlier.

This is quite simply because Sepp Kuss did not come to race as the leader. He had always been the model teammate who was accustomed to acting as the launching pad on the last slopes of the mountain stages for his team leaders. And he was very comfortable with this role.

After having worked hard to help Primoz Roglic win the Giro last May, and then worked for Jonas Vingegaard’s victory in the Tour de France, the super climbing domestique for the Jumbo-Visma Team was preparing to wear the same hat and above all to survive his third Grand Tour of the year. At the start of the Vuelta, he still carried the fresh marks from his heavy crash on the penultimate stage of the Grande Boucle.

Thanks to a victorious breakaway on the 6th stage, in Javalambre, Kuss earned a stage win while taking more than 3 minutes ahead of the majority of favorites for the final overall victory. He grabbed the red jersey two days later, finishing the 8th stage with the best, taking advantage of the time lost when race leader Frenchman Lenny Martinez was dropped from the front group. Kuss never let go of the leader’s jersey after that and ultimately stepped on the final podium along with Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic, celebrating a Jumbo-Visma hat-trick, which hasn’t been seen for more than 50 years.

The results: 1. Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) ; 2. Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) ; 3. Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)…

Stages won by: Team dsm-firmenich ; Kron (Lotto-Dstny) ; Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) ; Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) ; Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck) ; Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) ; Soupe (TotalEnergies) ; Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) ; Kamna (Bora-Hansgrohe) ; Ganna (INEOS Grenadiers) ; Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) ; Molano (UAE Team Emirates) ; Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) ; Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) ; Costa (Intermarché – Circus – Wanty) ; Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) ; Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) ; Evenepoel (Soudal-Quick Step) ; Dainese (Team dsm-firmenich) ; Poels (Bahrain-Victorious) ; Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck). 


Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche: Cavalli back on top

Marta Cavalli definitely seems to be back in the spotlight at the top. A favorite for the final victory in the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche, the Italian lived up to her billing perfectly, along with her teammates, by defeating her main WorldTour rivals, the riders from UAE Team ADQ and Human Powered Health, to win in the streets of Privas after taking control two days earlier, at the summit of Mont Lozère.

Thirteenth in the Vuelta, fourteenth in the Giro, and nineteenth in the Tour de France this season, with a final victory in Tour des Pyrénées to add to her palmarès, Cavalli seems to be getting closer to her real level that she showed in 2022 by winning Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallonne, before suffering a terrible accident in the 2022 Tour.

“It’s going in the right direction, it’s getting better and better,” she confirmed. “This is an intermediate step for me. At the start of the Tour de France, I talked about the fact that I was still a little too weak to play for the general classification of the world’s biggest stage races at the moment. Now, I’ve managed to last seven days in a race like this which is difficult, but where there weren’t any of the world’s best riders. But it’s still satisfying to have managed to win here. I’m gradually coming back. It was a very good test for me. The team had total confidence in me all week and that’s really important for me.”

The results: 1. Cavalli (FDJ-SUEZ) ; 2. Magnaldi (UAE Team ADQ) ; 3. Kolesava (Arkéa Pro Cycling Team)…

Stages won by: Pikulik (Human Powered Health) ; Drummond (Farto-BTC Women’s Cycling Team) ; Pikulik (Human Powered Health) ; Zanardi (BePink – GOLD) ; Cavailli (FDJ-SUEZ) ; Malcotti (Human Powered Health) ; Baril (UAE Team ADQ).


Giro della Toscana: Sivakov confirms his good form

The victory was French at the Giro della Toscana. The Russian-born French rider from the Ineos Grenadiers team, Pavel Sivakov (26 years old), won the Italian classic. Having been on a roll lately, Sivakov, who finished second at the Grand Prix de Montréal on Sunday, dropped his breakaway companion, the Ecuadorian Richard Carapaz, 1.5 km from the finish to clinch his first victory of the season. Austrian UAE Team Emirates rider Felix Grossschartner, finished third to complete the podium. 

Having not raced since the World Championships in Glasgow, Tadej Pogacar suffered in the race. Although his team did a lot of work, the Slovenian ran out of steam a little before the flamme rouge. Arriving in the company of his teammate Davide Formolo and Filippo Zana, Pogacar won the sprint from this small group of three in front of Zana, taking fourth place. 

The results: 1. Sivakov (INEOS Grenadiers) ; 2. Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost) ; 3. Grossschartner (UAE Team Emirates)…


Grand Prix de WallonieSerrano surprises Van der Poel

Rarely has a rider defied the odds so much. Among all the potential favorites for victory in this Grand Prix de Wallonie, not a single pundit would have bet on the chances of Gonzalo Serrano (Movistar). However, it was the Spaniard who won in Namur at the Grand Prix de Wallonie.

The whole peloton rather expected a success for Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Deceuninck). It must be said that at the foot of the final climb, which races up to the citadel of Namur, the World Champion was ideally placed to launch an attack and drop all competitors. At the base, the peloton was grouped together after a fairly calm day, where three men (Dries De Bondt from Alpecin-Deceuninck, Kenny Molly from Van Rysel-Roubaix Lille Métropole, Pier-André Côté from Human Powered Health) led a breakaway without ever really building up much of a lead.

But it was Dylan Teuns (Israel-Premier Tech) who attacked after the flamme rouge, followed only by Serrano. It was Serrano who timed his final acceleration perfectly to win the final two-man sprint, ahead of a peloton which failed to reel them in. Van der Poel finished 4th, behind Jasper De Buyst (Lotto-Dstny).

For Serrano, this is the second prestigious victory of his career after the general classification of the Tour of Britain last year, the last three stages of which were canceled following the death of Queen Elizabeth II. In 2022, the Spaniard had already climbed to 3rd place in the GP de Wallonie, behind Van der Poel and Biniam Girmay (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), who was also very discreet this Wednesday.

The results: 1. Serrano (Movistar) ; 2. Teuns (Israël-Premier Tech) ; 3. De Buyst (Lotto-Dstny)…


Tour of Taihu Lake: Jackson unleashes his power

George Jackson (Bolton Equities Black Spoke) won everything at the Tour of Taihu Lake. All the stages of this 2023 edition ended with a mass sprint and the New Zealander showed his power by raising his arms in victory during the last two stages. These wins consolidated his position as leader.

On the final podium of this Tour du Lac Taihu 2023, George Jacskson was accompanied by the two other riders who took victories this week, the Italian Enrico Zanoncello (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) and the Belgian Jarne Van de Paar (Lotto Dstny).

The results: 1. Jackson (Bolton Equities Black Spoke) ; 2. Zanoncello (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) ; 3. Van de Paar (Lotto Dstny)…

Stages won by: Zanoncello (Green Project-Bardiani CSF-Faizanè) ; Van de Paar (Lotto Dstny) ; Jackson (Bolton Equities Black Spoke) ; Jackson (Bolton Equities Black Spoke).


Coppa Sabatini: Hirschi gives UAE Team Emirates its 50th victory

The Swiss Marc Hirschi posted the 50th victory of the season for the UAE Team Emirates team by winning the Coppa Sabatini, beating in the final the Frenchman Pavel Sivakov, who was the winner the day before the Giro della Toscana. Tadej Pogacar took third place.

Hirschi, former winner of the Flèche Wallonne, made the decisive attack 37 km from the finish, during the last pass on the Muro di Peccioli (0.8 km at 10.9%). Only Sivakov managed to follow him, with difficulty, while Tadej Pogacar, teammate and leader of Hirschi’s UAE Team Emirates, was responsible for preventing the pursuers – the Frenchman Guillaume Martin (4th), the Kazakh Aleksey Lutsenko (5th) – from joining back up. The rest of the peloton arrived more than two minutes later.

“It was a good thing that there were four riders, the situation was perfect for us,” Hirschi explained. “I had Tadej behind me, which allowed me to fly away. It’s super nice to take this victory. I raced here last year, so I already knew it was tough, I knew the course, and I knew the race opened up very early.”

The results: 1. Hirschi (UAE Team Emirates) ; 2. Sivakov (INEOS Grenadiers) ; 3. Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates)…


Tour de Romandie Féminin: Vollering, as expected

Victorious in the queen stage to Torgon, Demi Vollering (SD Worx) won the 2023 edition of the women’s Tour de Romandie. The Dutchwoman then contained the attacks by her rivals in the final stage, which was won in a sprint by the German Liane Lippert in Nyon.

Winner of the Tour de France this summer, Demi Vollering spent a rather quiet day, thanks in particular to the work done by her luxury teammate Marlen Reusser. Second overall at 6” before the final stage, Katarzyna Niewiadoma was unable to do anything to break Vollering’s stranglehold.

Niewiadoma attacked about 30 km from the finish, but Demi Vollering quickly joined her. A small group then broke away at the front, also with Marlen Reusser, but the main peloton reformed 20km from the finish.

The favorites tried their luck in the sprint, at the end of which Liane Lippert proved the fastest.

World number 1, Demi Vollering made the ultimate difference by winning in Torgon after producing a first acceleration 3.8 km from the finish, which only Katarzyna Niewiadoma was able to follow. The Dutchwoman then dropped the Pole less than 200 meters from the line.

The results: 1. Vollering (SD Worx) ; 2. Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM Racing) ; 3. Reusser (SD Worx)…

Stages won by: Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ) ; Vollering (SD Worx) ; Lippert (Movistar).


Grand Prix d’Isbergues: Moschetti surprises the big names

The Grand Prix d’Isbergues, which is the penultimate round of the Coupe de France, was won this Sunday by Matteo Moschetti. The Italian, who already stood on the podium of the Grand Prix de Fourmies last weekend, won by a whisker ahead of Mads Pedersen, winner of the event in 2019 (the week before winning his world champion title), and the Frenchman Arnaud Démare, who came a little closer to a first success wearing his new colors of Arkéa-Samsic.

The results: Moschetti (Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team) ; 2. Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) ; 3. Démare (Arkéa-Samsic)… 


Upcoming races:

20 – 24 September: Adriatica Ionica Race / Sulle Rotte della Serenissima, https://airace.it/

20 – 24 September: Skoda Tour Luxembourg, https://skodatour.lu/fr/