Kaden Groves misses out on third Vuelta stage win due to crash

Race leader Sepp Kuss avoids crash and maintains 17-second lead over team-mate Jonas Vingegaard

Sprint favourite Kaden Groves lost the chance of taking a third stage win in the Vuelta a España on Friday after he was caught up in a crash inside the final three kilometres.

The Australian’s Alpecin-Deceuninck team-mate Tobias Bayer glanced behind to ensure Groves was in position in advance of the sprint, then inadvertently clipped the wheel of the rider in front of him and crashed. Several other riders also came off, including Groves, although he avoided injury.

The stage to Íscar was won by Alberto Dainese (Team DSM-Firmenich) ahead of Filippo Ganna (Ineos Grenadiers). Groves remains in the lead of the points classification, holding 245 points to the 192 of Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep).

Race leader Sepp Kuss avoided the crash and maintained his 17-second lead over team-mate Jonas Vingegaard. Primož Roglič (also Jumbo-Visma) remains 1:08 back in third. Saturday’s stage is the last mountain leg of this year’s race and while it lacks both a summit finish and any one major ascent, the 10 category three climbs en route to Guadarrama could make for a ferocious day in the saddle.


Kuss’s race lead looked tenuous earlier this week when both Vingegaard and Roglič took time out of him on Tuesday and Wednesday. However, amid a strong backlash to the tactics, the latter two rowed in behind Kuss on Thursday’s summit finish and have pledged they will help him the race overall.

The American climber normally rides in service of Vingegaard and Roglič, helping them to a total of six Grand Tour wins, but was part of a long-distance break in the opening week and became an overall contender as a result.

The team stands to be the first in cycling’s history to win all three Grand Tours in one season. Roglič took the Giro d’Italia in May, while Vingegaard won his second successive Tour in July.

Meanwhile, Megan Armitage bounced back from recent injury to take a superb fourth on the opening stage of the Ag Tour de la Semois in Belgium on Friday.

The Offaly rider was part of a three-woman group which finished 13 seconds behind the solo winner Karlijn Swinkels (Team Jumbo-Visma) into Vresse-sur-Semois. They were over two minutes clear of the main bunch. Fiona Mangan was 54th.

With time bonuses taken into account Armitage will begin Saturday’s second and final stage 23 seconds behind Swinkels.

Her performance is encouraging in advance of the European road championships this month, not least because she was sidelined from racing following a crash on stage two of the Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardeche on September 6th. She suffered a head injury and, having had a concussion in June of this year, there was concern that she might face a long period off the bike.

Thankfully she has recovered, is back racing and riding well.

In Switzerland, Alice Sharpe started the Tour de Romandie Féminin, placing 78th on the 144.1km opening stage in Yverdon-les-Bains. It was won by Italian rider Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ). The WorldTour race runs until Sunday.

Shane Stokes

Shane Stokes

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