Tour de France: Kuss attacks late to take Stage 15 as Pogacar holds firm

By Sports Desk July 11, 2021

Sepp Kuss claimed his second ever stage victory as he triumphed at the Tour de France on Sunday, with Tadej Pogacar keeping control of the yellow jersey.

Jumbo-Visma's Kuss, who came into this year's Tour as a support rider for Primos Roglic, took his chance on the final, steepest climb of Stage 15, with around 20km of the 191.3km route into Andorra remaining.

The American rider – who won his previous Grand Tour stage in the 2019 Vuelta a Espana and is based in Andorra – held off competition from Alejandro Valverde, who looked good heading into the final descent of the day, only to burn out before he could catch Kuss.

Wouter Poels, who will take the polka dot jersey off Michael Woods, clinched third place in a sprint finish that also included Nairo Quintana.

Meanwhile, Pogacar expertly handled the general classification group, with Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) and Richard Carapaz (INEOS Grenadiers) unable to close the gap.

It was a bad day for Guillaume Martin, who dropped from second in the GC to down to ninth, almost eight minutes adrift of Pogacar.

"I was really suffering a lot in this tour, I just didn't feel like I had the spice in the legs," said Kuss.

"Today I knew it was finishing where I live, I was really motivated for the stage and finally I had really good legs again, I'm so happy. 

"It was a hard day in the breakaway, I know the climb fairly well, I don't ride it so much in training because it's so hard. I knew the beginning was really tough, if I went there and got a gap I could try and hold it to the finish."

Supp's aim will now be to back Jonas Vingegaard, who kept Jumbo-Visma's dwindling GC hopes alive by moving himself into third, though he is still some way back from defending champion Pogacar.

STAGE RESULT

1. Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) 5:12:06
2. Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) +0:23
3. Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious) +1:15
4. Ion Izagirre (Astana) same time
5. Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education First) same time

CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

General Classification

1. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) 62:07:18
2. Rigoberto Uran (EF Education First) +5:18
3. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) +5:32

Points Classification

1. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 279
2. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) 207
3. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin-Fenix) 174

King of the Mountains

1. Wouter Poels (Bahrain Victorious) 74
2. Michael Woods (Israel Start-Up Nation) 66
3. Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) 64

What's next?

Monday sees the final rest day of this year's race, with Le Tour resuming with a 169km route from Pas de la Case to Saint-Gaudens on Tuesday.

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    Primoz Roglic secured his third successive Vuelta a Espana title with an imperious performance in Sunday's time trial finale.

    Roglic entered the 33.8 kilometre ride from Padron to Santiago de Compostel all but sure of winning La Roja barring a remarkable turn of events.

    And the Slovenian finished things off in style as he became only the fourth rider in history to win the Vuelta on three separate occasions.

    Roglic also succeeded in matching Roberto Heras' feat of three consecutive triumphs (set between 2003 and 2005).

    He did so by crossing the line in 44 minutes and two seconds, claiming his fourth stage win of this year's Vuelta, which was bookended by Roglic victories, the Olympic time trial champion have started this year's race with a triumph on stage one.

    The Jumbo-Visma rider surpassed Magnus Cort's previous best time by 14 seconds, with Thymen Arensman 52 seconds off the pace in third.

    It meant his final winning margin over Spain's Enric Mas (Movistar) was a massive four minutes and 42 seconds, with Australia's Jack Haig third for Bahrain Victorious.

    As if to hammer home his superiority, Roglic overtook Mas on the final turn before crossing the line, providing an exclamation point as he underlined his status as one of the finest Grand Tour racers on the planet and a clear favourite to challenge for yet more glory next season.

  • Vuelta a Espana: Roglic closes in on victory with second-place finish behind Champoussin Vuelta a Espana: Roglic closes in on victory with second-place finish behind Champoussin

    Primoz Roglic would need an almighty slip up to fail to win the Vuelta a Espana, though Saturday's penultimate stage belonged to Clement Champoussin.

    A monster, 202.2-kilometre route culminated in a summit finish on Mos. Castro de Herville, with 23-year-old Champoussin attacking with 1500m remaining to take the first stage win of his professional career.

    The Frenchman crossed the line six seconds ahead of Roglic, who had led a chasing pack that caught breakaway leader Ryan Gibbons with around 4km left.

    Roglic's second-place finish, two seconds ahead of nearest general classification rival Enric Mas of Movistar, should surely see the Jumbo-Visma rider claim La Roja for a third successive year.

    It could all change in Sunday's time trial, but having won gold in such an event at the Tokyo Olympics, Roglic will know a third Vuelta crown is within his grasp.

    Should he hold onto his GC lead, which stands at 2:38, Roglic will become only the fourth rider in history to win the Vuelta on three separate occasions, while he will also match Roberto Heras' feat of three consecutive triumphs (set between 2003 and 2005).

    Stage 20 belonged to Champoussin, however. After Roglic, Mas, Adam Yates and Jack Haig had caught Gibbons, the AG2R Citroen rider lodged a surprise offensive, catching the quintet cold.

    For a moment, with Roglic gaining ground, it looked as though Champoussin - who only turned pro last year - may have gone too soon, but he held on to claim a maiden grand tour stage success.

    Behind Roglic, Adam Yates of INEOS Grenadiers just edged out Mas to secure a top-three finish. A dismal day for Miguel Angel Lopez saw him abandon the race with 20km remaining after he failed to keep pace with the general classification group.

    STAGE RESULT

    1. Clement Champoussin (AG2R Citroen) 05:21:50
    2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) +0:06
    3. Adam Yates (INEOS Grenadiers) +0:08

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 83:11:27
    2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:38
    3. Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) +4:48

    Points Classification

    1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 250
    2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 179
    3. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 145

    King of the Mountains

    1. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 80
    2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 61
    3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 51

    What's next?

    Sunday's final stage is a 33.8km time trial from Padron to Santiago de Compostela. A consistent climb is followed by downhill, technical sections and a flat straight to the line. 

     

  • Vuelta a Espana: Roglic maintains overall lead as Cort celebrates 'dream' third stage win Vuelta a Espana: Roglic maintains overall lead as Cort celebrates 'dream' third stage win

    Primoz Roglic heads into the final weekend of the Vuelta a Espana with a third successive title within touching distance, while Magnus Cort won stage 19 on Friday.

    Danish rider Cort, who also triumphed on stages six and 12, was the quickest man in a breakaway, holding off Rui Oliveira and Quinn Simmons to clinch victory in Monforte de Lemos.

    EF Education-Nippo team-mate Lawson Craddock powered out to lead the final sprint and though Simmons attacked with 200 metres to go, it was Cort who caught the slipstream to claim a dramatic win by a bike length at the culmination of a 191.2-kilometre stage.

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    "I think everybody had tired legs and it was hard to work together in this hilly terrain but somehow we managed to hang onto it."

    Roglic kept his general classification competitors at arm's length as he retained his grasp on La Roja heading into the last two stages, finishing 18 seconds behind the leaders.

    Saturday's mountain stage could still cause problems, while Roglic has been hurt by time trials in grand tours before – the 2020 Tour de France was settled in Tadej Pogacar's favour in such a manner – but the Slovenian looks well placed to make it three Vuelta wins in a row.

    Roglic's family were on hand to witness him receive the 50th overall leader jersey of his career, and the Olympic gold medallist knows he is on the verge of a remarkable achievement.

    "It’s beautiful to have my family here. They are my life and I'm very happy," he said.

    "It was a hard day from the start to the finish. A super strong break went away. For us, it was fine, and we could take it easy. But La Vuelta is coming to an end so there aren’t much opportunities left.

    "The sprinters' teams pulled with a super hard tempo. It's crazy [that this is my 50th Grand Tour leader’s jersey]. Hopefully I can keep it."

    STAGE RESULT

    1. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 04:24:54
    2. Rui Oliveira (UAE Team Emirates) same time
    3. Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) same time

    CLASSIFICATION STANDINGS

    General Classification

    1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 77:49:37
    2. Enric Mas (Movistar) +2:30
    3. Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) +2:53

    Points Classification

    1. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) 250
    2. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 162
    3. Magnus Cort (EF Education-Nippo) 144

    King of the Mountains

    1. Michael Storer (Team DSM) 59
    2. Romain Bardet (Team DSM) 54
    3. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 48

    What's next?

    Saturday's route is a monster. A 202.2km stage from Sanxenxo to Mos. Castro de Herville takes in five short but difficult climbs after a relatively flat start.

     

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