Xorret de cati : Roglic’s Thrilling Victory and Kuss’ Red Jersey Triumph Shake Up La Vuelta

Xorret de catiRoglic Steals the Show at Xorret de Catí, Kuss Takes Red Jersey

In a thrilling stage at La Vuelta, Remco Evenepoel faced an uphill battle at Xorret de Catí, contending with the formidable Jumbo trio of Sepp Kuss, Jonas Vingegaard, and Primoz Roglic. However, the young Belgian cyclist never shies away from a fight. These challenging situations fuel his determination. This was evident in the eighth stage of the race, where a nearly four-kilometer climb with gradients exceeding 20% loomed just seven kilometers from the finish line.

Ultimately, it was Primoz Roglic who triumphed in a sprint finish, showcasing his powerful final push. Yet, Evenepoel, undeterred, led the ascent, proving he had the legs to win. His rivals must summon more courage if they hope to prevent him from repeating his victory from the previous year.

Evenepoel’s reaction to Roglic’s win was evident—frustration and disappointment with himself. His only goal was victory, and he was visibly upset that he couldn’t seize it. Despite a fierce effort on the climb, he lamented the missed opportunity, saying, “I’m very disappointed not to get the victory. It’s a shame after the climb I did. I had the legs to win. I missed the chance to win the second stage, and Roglic gained a few seconds in bonuses. It’s a pity.”

The stage promised an epic battle among the race’s top contenders but delivered less drama than anticipated. The course featured over 3,600 meters of elevation gain, including five challenging climbs. It began with the Alto de Vall d’Ebo, followed by the Puerto de Tollos, the Puerto de Benifallim, and the Puerto de la Carrasqueta before the final climb up Xorret de Catí.

At the start of the day, Oier Lazkano led a sizable breakaway, but they were ultimately reeled in as the race neared the final ascent.

As the ascent to Xorret de Catí began, Team Soudal took charge at the front, and Evenepoel assumed control. The lone attack against him came from Sepp Kuss, but Evenepoel maintained his composure, setting a pace that eventually reeled in the challenger. Riders like Roglic, Vingegaard, Mas, Ayuso, Soler, and Almeida stayed in the group, but no one dared to make a move against Evenepoel’s relentless speed.

In a turn of events for the Jumbo-Visma team, Sepp Kuss donned the leader’s red jersey, stepping up in the absence of Lenny Martínez, who had a challenging day.

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