Slovenian Primoz Roglic powered previous reigning champion Remco Evenepoel to win the eighth stage of the Vuelta a Espana after a tricky struggle on the climb to Xorret del Cati on Saturday.
Roglic’s Jumbo Visma crew mate Sepp Kuss took the general chief’s crimson jersey after Lenny Martinez of Groupama-FDJ cracked close to the end of the 165km stage from Denia.
Kuss is the primary American to steer a Grand Tour since Chris Horner at LA Vuelta in 2013.
The peloton reeled in 4 breakaway riders in the beginning of the brutal closing climb and battle commenced amongst the final classification contenders with Jumbo Visma once more dominant.
Kuss was the primary to assault earlier than Belgium’s Evenepoel (Soudal Quick Step) took it on over the summit on the downhill race to the end line.
Evenepoel was unable to carry off three-time Vuelta winner Roglic within the closing dash to the road however appeared robust as he got here house in second place with Spain’s Juan Ayuso third.
Danish co-favourite Jonas Vingegaard, additionally of Jumbo Visma, was fifth with Kuss seventh.
With Frenchman Martinez greater than a minute behind on the end, Kuss now leads the standings by 43 seconds from Spain’s Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) and one minute from Martinez.
Evenepoel, Roglic and Vingegaard are well-placed in sixth, seventh and eighth locations, round two and a half minutes behind Kuss however with two weeks of racing nonetheless to go.
Anyone assuming Kuss will simply revert to his position of supporting extra illustrious crew mates might must rethink because the American once more confirmed nice legs.
“You always hope for the best. The guys did a really amazing job, controlling the really strong breakaway. Then we had no option in the end,” Giro d’Italia winner Roglic mentioned.
“In the sprint it’s always a bit of a gamble but I had the legs and I could do it. At least three (Jumbo-Visma leaders) now, no? But maybe there’s still someone coming!”
More mountains are in retailer on Sunday with a 184-km route beginning in Cartagena.