Jonas Vingegaard crossed the line in first, laying down a dazzling performance in his favorite playing ground, the high mountains.
Shortly after Jonas crested the summit, Sepp Kuss came in only 30 seconds behind, followed by his teammate Primoz Roglic just a few seconds later. Stage 13 culminated in a dominant Jumbo-Visma crescendo, one, two, and three.
Heartbreak For evenepoel
Not everyone was having as much fun as the Jumbo-Visma riders.
Remco Evenepoel’s Vuelta a España title defence unraveled spectacularly, shattering his dreams amidst the Pyrenean mountains.
Remco Evenepoel was expelled from the lead peloton upon ascent of the formidable Col d’Aubisque, a group that was spearheaded by the formidable Jumbo-Visma team.
The once-threatening Belgian found himself cut adrift 87.3 kilometers from the summit of Col du Tourmalet.
Remco’s Soudal Quick-Step teammates immediately dropped back to help pace their leader, but with Jumbo-Visma smelling blood, the gap only increased.
Until this point, every indication pointed toward an ultimate showdown between him and the leaders of the Jumbo-Visma team in the last week of this Grand Tour. However, that prospect seems a distant memory now.
Eventually, Evenepoel crossed the line in the 60th position, with a time of 27:05 back from the winner Vingegaard. This result has sent him plummeting from fourth to nineteenth place in the overall standings, and ended his General Classification challenge.
Total domination from Jumbo-Visma
With the red jersey among their ranks, it was up to the Dutch outfit to control the race’s queen stage, and they did just that.
Jumbo-Visma not only conquered the stage with a 1-2-3 finish, but also established complete dominance in the General Classification, holding the top three positions.
American rider Kuss leads the pack with a comfortable 1:37 lead over teammate Roglic, followed by Vingegaard, who dons the polka dot jersey, trailing Kuss by 1 minute and 44 seconds.
Can Jumbo-Visma conquer all three of cycling’s Grand Tours, potentially with three different riders?
Currently, Spaniards Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates) and Enric Mas (Movistar) round out the remaining spots in the top five, as their compatriot Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) faced difficulties on the final climb.
Frenchman Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ) endured a demanding day in his Grand Tour debut.
However, Ayuso, trailing Kuss by 2 minutes and 37 seconds, faces a tough challenge in breaking Jumbo-Visma’s stranglehold on the race.
Belgian rising star Cian Uijtdebroeks (BORA-hansgrohe) made significant strides in the general classification, impressively securing a remarkable fifth place and rising to ninth in his debut Grand Tour.
At the base of the Tourmalet, a strong group, fronted by Jumbo-Visma, led the race. Jonas Vingegaard launched an attack with 8 kilometers to go, and Kuss and Roglic faced no pressure to contribute to the chase.
When Kuss’s rivals exhausted themselves in pursuit, the race leader unleashed a powerful acceleration within the last kilometer, prompting a response from teammate Roglic and sealing a clean sweep for Jumbo-Visma.
“Even better than the plan”
True to form, Jonas Vingegaard dedicated his win to his daughter, saying after the race:
“I’m just so happy, and I couldn’t choose a better day. Today is the birthday of my daughter, and I wanted to win for her so bad today. I’m just so happy, and today I did it for her.
“Our plan was to see if we could take some time on the opponents today. That happened, and I’m just so happy and proud to do it today. This one is for my daughter Frida.
“I think [the 1-2-3] was even better than the plan.”
Stage 14 will test the rider’s legs again, with a demanding mountain stage, including two special category climbs.
As Kuss crossed the finish line, he had a smile from ear to ear, sharing an embrace with the two riders he assisted in winning the Giro and Tour earlier in the year. Despite significant challenges ahead, Sepp Kuss is looking increasingly likely to claim the red jersey in Madrid.
Vuelta a España 2023: Stage 13 Results
- VINGEGAARD Jonas (Jumbo-Visma) 3:51:10
- KUSS Sepp (Jumbo-Visma) + 30 seconds
- ROGLIČ Primož (Jumbo-Visma) + 33 seconds
- AYUSO Juan (UAE Team Emirates) + 38 seconds
- UIJTDEBROEKS Cian (Bora-hansgrohe) + 38 seconds
- MAS Enric (Movistar Team) + 40 seconds
- LANDA Mikel (Bahrain – Victorious) + 1:15
- VLASOV Aleksandr (Bora-hansgrohe) + 2:12
- CRAS Steff (TotalEnergies) + 2:32
- Soler Marc (UAE Team Emirates) + 3:08
Vuelta a España 2023: General Classification Standings after Stage 13
- KUSS Sepp (Jumbo-Visma)
- ROGLIČ Primož (Jumbo-Visma) + 1:37
- VINGEGAARD Jonas (Jumbo-Visma) +1:44
- AYUSO Juan (UAE Team Emirates) + 2:37
- MAS Enric (Movistar Team) + 3:06
- Soler Marc (UAE Team Emirates) + 3:10
- LANDA Mikel (Bahrain – Victorious) + 4:12
- VLASOV Aleksandr (Bora-hansgrohe) + 5:02
- UIJTDEBROEKS Cian (Bora-hansgrohe) + 5:30
- ALMEIDA João (UAE Team Emirates) + 8:39
Vuelta a España Jerseys after Stage 13
Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma)
Kaden Groves (ALPECIN-DECEUNINCK)
Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma)
Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates)
Stage 13 Combativity Award Winner
Michael Storrer (Groupama-FDJ)