Jumbo-Visma tightens grip on Vuelta a España as Primož Roglič leads stage 17 podium blitz atop the Angliru

Sepp Kuss keeps the red jersey by eight seconds over Jonas Vingegaard going into the final four stages

Roglic wins stage 17 of the Vuelta a España
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jumbo-Visma took a stunning podium lockout on stage 17 of the Vuelta a España, tightening their stranglehold on the race.

Primož Roglič claimed the stage win atop the cloud-covered Altu de L'Angliru with an attack that towed Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard to the line. Race leader Sepp Kuss followed 19 seconds behind, meaning the American kept his leader's jersey by eight seconds ahead of Vingegaard. 

Speaking afterwards, Kuss praised his team-mates as "two big champions", but said he also wanted his "shot" at Grand Tour glory. 

"[Wearing the leader's jersey] was a position I never expected to be in and that's the beautiful thing about it," he said. "I came in with no expectations. I was just looking to help out the guys like always, but then came into this beautiful jersey and all the experiences that came with it."

Kuss celebrated his 29th birthday on the Angliru, but fell away from Roglič and Vingegaard with 2km remaining. Bahrain Victorious's Mikel Landa then offered him a present, taking up the chase to the leading duo, with Kuss tucked in behind.

"I've discovered a new level of self-confidence, of racing instinct," the red jersey wearer said afterwards, before turning to his team-mates. "I think behind the scenes, we work really well together. They're two big champions and I also want my shot, but I also am happy to work for them when it's called for." 

Jumbo-Visma's triumph meant the Dutch super team have now won five stages of this year's Vuelta, filling out the podium as they did on the Col du Tourmalet on stage 13. Kuss, Vingegaard and Roglič lead the overall standings, with their nearest rival, Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates), four minutes down in fourth. 

Sepp Kuss trails behind Jonas Vingegaard and Primoz Roglic on the Angliru at the Vuelta a España

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Wednesday's Queen stage brought a short, but dizzyingly mountainous day for the peloton. Stretched over 124km, the route offered two category-one appetisers, before an ascent of the especial Angliru, which returned to the race after a three-year absence.

The stage left Ribadesella at a frenetic pace, the peloton averaging over 50km/h for the first part. A breakaway then formed, but whittled down to just Remco Evenepoel - the polka dot jersey wearer - and his Soudal Quick-Step team-mate Matteo Cattaneo. The Italian later dropped back, leaving Evenepoel alone out front. 

The Belgian hit the lower slopes of the Angliru - a 12.4km climb set at 10% with pitches at 24% - with an advantage of around one minute and 20 seconds. 

To the pleasure of Jumbo-Visma, Bahrain Victorious set the tempo behind, and clawed back Evenepoel inside 6km to go. There, GC hopefuls fell away in ones and twos, absorbed by the clouds, leaving Bahrain Victorious and Jumbo-Visma to do battle on the steepest slopes. 

The first to draw blood was Roglič, who went with 3km to go. Kuss and Vingegaard then bridged across, before the former lost the wheel with 2km remaining. 

Kuss was then swept up by Landa, who he pipped at the line to take third. 

Results

VUELTA A ESPAÑA STAGE 17 - RIBADESELLA TO ALTU DE L'ANGLIRU (124.4KM)

1. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, in 3-15-56
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 6s
3. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
4. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, both at 19s
5. Wout Poels (Ned) Bahrain Victorious at 44s
6. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates, at 58s
7. Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bel) Bora-Hansgrohe
8. Santiago Buitrago (Col) Bahrain Victorious, both at 1-20
9. Juan Ayuso (Esp) UAE Team Emirates, at 1-42
10. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar, at 1-43

General classification after stage 17

1. Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma, in 60-34-21
2. Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma, at 8s
3. Primož Roglič (Slo) Jumbo-Visma, at 1-08
4. Juan Ayuso (Esp) UAE Team Emirates, at 4-00
5. Mikel Landa (Esp) Bahrain Victorious, at 4-16
6. Enric Mas (Esp) Movistar, at 4-30
7. Cian Uijtdebroeks (Bel) Bora-Hansgrohe, at 6-43
8. Aleksandr Vlasov, Bora-Hansgrohe, at 7-38
9. João Almeida (Por) UAE Team Emirates, at 9-26
10. Santiago Buitrago (Col) Bahrain Victorious, at 11-26

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