Remco Evenepoel takes his 3rd victory in La Vuelta 2023

Road 14/09/23 18:43 Migue A.

Second consecutive mountain stage in La Vuelta a España 2023 in Asturias. A hard day in which the climb to the Cruz de Linares was debuted and in which Remco Evenepoel did his best again, not only leading the breakaway of the day but also selecting it at will to arrive alone after a tremendous ride.

Non-aggression pact between the favorites as Evenepoel adds another victory

The waters have returned to their course at Jumbo-Visma. After yesterday's terrible team image, the Dutch team has returned to sanity and applied those unwritten rules of cycling that say you don't attack your leader, you protect him.

All this in a very hard second Asturian stage with a route of almost 180 km that linked Pola de Lena and the unprecedented port of Cruz de Linares which was reached after a journey full of ports with the ascents to Estacas, the demanding port of San Loreno, the short but with tremendous ramps Tenebredo and, as a dessert, double ascent to Cruz de Linares, the last discovery of La Vuelta a España, and that offers us more than 8 kilometers of ascent all the time around 9-10% of slope with loose ramps that reach 16%.

As usual, the stage started very fast, with many people trying to be part of the breakaway of the day. This led to an agonizing first 40 kilometers to the first Estacas ramps where the breakaway would be made almost by natural selection, integrating some of the usual suspects of the last week, including, of course, Remco Evenepoel, unleashed after his fainting on the Aubisque.

Jumbo-Visma had no intention of putting up a fight with the classification tied up and after the multiple criticisms that came after the strange behavior shown on the ascent of the Angliru. It set a fast but conservative pace, which meant that the breakaway went beyond 10 minutes, which practically ensured that the victory was ahead and, among those who were there, Remco Evenepoel was the one who led the way at almost all times.

For the time being, he was content to maintain control in order to score points for the mountains classification, which, with those harvested at the top of the San Lorenzo, assured him of getting this jersey at the finish next Sunday in Madrid.

It was at the start of the Tenebredo when Evenepoel went into action and set a hard pace, but a pace after all, without attacks. A pace that martyrized those who were on his wheel, selecting the breakaway to leave it in just 6 units. The Belgian rider repeated the same move in the transition between this pass and the first of the ascents to Cruz de Linares. First Egan Bernal and Andreas Kron, who shortly before had tried a change of pace trying to sow doubt in Evenepoel. A few kilometers later, the Soudal-QuickStep rider doubled the pace and got rid of Max Poole and Damiano Caruso, going solo with 29 km to go for a safe victory.

Only the dangerous descent of Cruz de Linares put some uncertainty to Remco's victory, but he faced it without taking the slightest risk knowing the juicy time cushion he had. The second ascent was simply a triumphal ride, a bath of masses in which to enjoy his third victory in this Vuelta a España 2023 with the possibility of still achieving a fourth, which he will surely try next Saturday in the Sierra de Guadarrama.

And what was going on in the back? Nothing at all. Jumbo-Visma continued with its crushing pace until the beginning of the first of the climbs to Cruz de Linares where Bahrain-Victorious again proposed by the hand of a great Wout Poels who prepared the ground for a possible move of Mikel Landa.

First ascent without movements and we had to wait until midway through the second climb for the rider from Vitoria to delight the fans with one of his iconic attacks on the handlebar curve. However, there was more will than strength and he was easily neutralized by Jonas Vingegaard, who today did his best for his teammate and overall leader.

Mikel Landa tried again a little later, but again timidly and seconded with the same feeling of lack of strength by Juan Ayuso, while on this occasion it was Sepp Kuss himself who pulled his weight and responded in the first person.

We still saw a few more attacks, with the same lack of conviction, in the last kilometer where Sepp Kuss showed solidity while Jonas Vingegaard's control work on the climb took its toll and he lost a couple of seconds, unimportant given the very clear overall.

Stage 18 Classification

  1. Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) 4h47’37’’
  2. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious) +4’44’’
  3. Andreas Kron (Lotto-Dstny) +5’10’’
  4. Max Poole (DSM-Firmenich) +5’12’’
  5. Paul Ourselin (TotalEnergies) +5’17’’
  6. Julien Bernard (Lidl-Trek) +6’11’’
  7. Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) +7’01’’
  8. Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) +9’29’’
  9. Enric Mas (Movistar Team) +9’29’’
  10. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +9’29’’

Overall Classification

  1. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) +60h34’21’’
  2. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +17’’
  3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +1’08’’
  4. Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) +4’00’’
  5. Mikel Landa (Bahrain-Victorious) +4’19’’
  6. Enric Mas (Movistar Team) +4’30’’
  7. Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bora-Hansgrohe) +7’37’’
  8. Aleksandr Vlasov (Bora-Hansgrohe) +8’35’’
  9. Joao Almeida (UAE Team Emirates) +10’20’’
  10. Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain-Victorious) +12’20’’



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Remco Evenepoel logra su 3ª victoria en La Vuelta 2023