Cycling round-up: Vingegaard triumphs at Vuelta as Jeffers wins stage three of Rás na mBan

Sepp Kuss sees his grip on the race leader’s red jersey consolidated in Spain

Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard had his best day yet at the Vuelta a España, winning atop the Col du Tourmalet. However, it was perhaps a bigger day for his Jumbo-Visma team-mate Sepp Kuss, who saw his grip on the race leader’s red jersey consolidated when he finished second on the stage and took time out of all of the other general classification contenders bar Vingegaard.

Both riders made their move on the final climb, with Kuss marking rivals before surging close to the summit and closing to within 30 seconds of Vingegaard. A third Jumbo-Visma rider, Primož Roglič, was three seconds further back in third.

The biggest news of the day was the dramatic collapse in form of defending champion Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep), who was dropped on the first big climb of the day. He had started the day just 1:09 behind Kuss, with the Spaniard Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates) sandwiched between them, just 26 seconds off the lead.

Both lost time on the stage, with Evenepoel only 60th and losing over 27 minutes to Vingegaard. Soler fared better, dropping 3:08 in placing 10th, but is almost certainly too far back to challenge overall.


Kuss now has a 1:37 advantage over Roglič and 1:44 over Vingegaard, giving the rider who usually rides in support of those two leaders a big chance of winning the race outright on Sunday week.

Meanwhile, Emma Jeffers (DAS-handsling) won a 59-rider bunch sprint at the end of stage three of the Rás na mBan in Mountrath on Friday afternoon, beating team-mate Monica Greenwood, Tiffany Keep (Hutchinson-Brother UK) and many others to the line.

Ellen McDermott (Team Boompods) was best Irishwoman in fifth, three places ahead of Aoife O’Brien (Ireland).

Overnight leader Rixt Hoogland (NWVG-Uplus) finished seventh, four places behind Keep, who took over at the top of the general classification due to better accumulated stage placings. Hoogland drops one place to second, with Noa Jansen (Jegg-DJR Academy) remaining third.

Linda Kelly (Dan Morrissey Primor by Pissei) stays sixth and is best of the Irish.

She showed her strength by taking second to the Queen of the Mountains leader Manon de Boer (NWVG-Uplus) on the day’s big climb, the category one ascent of The Cut. De Boer is 17 points clear with 19 points up for grabs on Saturday’s three category four ascents.

A group of 15 riders were ahead after the climb but there was a considerable grouping by the time they got to the 25 kilometres to go point. Many attacks were fired off inside the final 10 kilometres but the sprinters were not to be denied.

The race continues on Saturday with a 102-kilometre stage starting and finishing in Tramore.

Ryan Mullen was best of the Irish on stage six of the Tour of Britain, helping his Bora-hansgrohe team-mate Danny van Poppel win the stage into Harlow. Sam Bennett also finished in this main bunch, while Rory Townsend (Bolton Equities Black Spoke) crashed inside the final three kilometres and placed 93rd.

As per UCI rules he was given the same time as the group he was in, but with so many riders locked on the same time in the general classification, he slipped from 14th to 25th place, three seconds behind the ongoing race leader Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma).

In France, Fiona Mangan (Cynisca Cycling) was a fine 14th on stage four of the 2.1-ranked Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche. The Italian rider Silvia Zanardi (BePink Gold) won a three-woman sprint into Hauterives, with Mangan in a chasing group going for ninth place, 1:48 back. Mia Griffin (UAE Team ADQ) was 63rd.

Zanardi moves up one place into the race lead, while Mangan improves seven slots to 21st. The race continues on Saturday with a mountaintop finish at Mont Lozère. Megan Armitage would have been looking forward to the climb but had to withdraw from the race prior to Thursday’s stage due to a head injury suffered a day earlier.

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes is a contributor to The Irish Times writing about cycling