American cyclist Sepp Kuss celebrates his Vuelta victory at the finish line of the race's final stage in Madrid on September 17, 2023. In the background are fellow riders from the Jumbo-Visma team.
Madrid – American cyclist Sepp Kuss won the Vuelta and is celebrating the triumph of his life. His team Jumbo-Visma was the first to win all three Grand Tours in the season. Australian Kaden Groves won the final 21st stage with a ceremonial finish in Madrid, when the overall standings are not traditionally attacked. Jan Hirt took the final 59th place, Michal Schlegel was 109th.
After more than a hundred kilometers, Groves surpassed the second Italian Filippo Ganna and the third German Nico Denz in the mass finish and claimed his third Vuelta victory this year. He also celebrated once in Spain last year, this year he also won a stage at the Giro. At the same time, Groves dominated the points competition ahead of defending overall champion Belgian Remce Evenepoel, who was also the best climber.
Twenty-nine-year-old Kuss held the leader's red jersey from the eighth stage and finally won by 17 seconds ahead of team-mate Dane Jonas Vingegaard. Another rider Jumba-Visma and three-time Vuelta Slovinec winner Primož Roglič finished third.
“Today I suffered the most in the whole race, more than in Anglira. I'm glad it's over,” said Kuss. “The fact that I won the Vuelta does not mean that I am someone else. But my life will change for sure. I am still absorbing it, it will take a lot of time,” he added.
This year, long-term domestic Kuss helped Roglič to triumph at the Giro d'Italia and Vingegaard to defend his first place at the Tour de France. He also became the first American Grand Tour winner since Chris Horner, who also won the Vuelta in 2013. The first three places in one of the races of the elite three were last occupied by riders from one team in 1966, when the Kas-Kaskol team also triumphed at the Vuelta.
The organizers confirmed today that the next Vuelta will start in Lisbon for the second time in history. This happened for the first time in 1997. The race will start outside Spain for the fifth time in its nearly ninety-year history.
Vuelta cycling stage race – final 21st stage (Hipódromo de la Zarzuela – Madrid, 101 km):
1. Groves (Austr./Alpecin-Deceuninck) 2:24:13, 2. Ganna (It./INEOS Grenadiers), 3. Denz (German/BORA -hansgrohe), 4. Page (Fr./Intermarché-Circus -Wanty), 5. García (Sp./Movistar), 6. Costa (Portug./Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) all same time, …98. Hirt (CZ/Soudal-Quick Step) -46, 109. Schlegel (CZ/Caja Rural-Seguros RGA) -1:10.
Final ranking: 1. Kuss ( USA/Jumbo-Visma) 76:48:21, 2. Vingegaard (Dan./Jumbo-Visma) -17, 3. Roglič (Slovenia/Jumbo-Visma) -1:08, 4. Ayuso (Sp./UAE Team Emirates) -3:25, 5. Landa (Sp./Bahrain-Victorious) -3:44, 6. Mas (Sp./Movistar) -4:14, …59. Hirt -2:29:04, 114. Schlegel -3:43:03.
Score competition: 1. Groves 315, 2. Evenepoel (Belg./Soudal-Quick Step) 236, 3. Kron (Dan./Lotto Dstny) 167.
Climbing competition: 1. Evenepoel 135, 2. Vingegaard 51, 3. Storer (Aust./Groupama-FDJ) 39.
Young riders: 1. Ayuso 76:51:39, 2. Uijtdebroeks (Belg./Bora-hansgrohe) -4:42, 3. Almeida (Portug./SAE Team Emirates) -6:50.
Teams: 1. Jumbo-Visma 229:42:26, 2. Bahrain-Victorious -20:49 , 3. Bora-hansgrohe -32:54.