Jumbo Visma’s Sepp Kuss claimed his maiden Grand Tour stage win when he climbed to victory at the Vuelta a España in Alto del Acebo today.
Ruben Guerreiro (Katusha-Alpecin) took second, with Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos) third.
Race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) retained the red jersey as he led Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) home.
“It was an incredible atmosphere all the way up the climb. It was a bit of goat track at the beginning but it’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Kuss.
“It really hasn’t sunk in and I’m lost for words. When the time gap when out to five minutes we were on the last climb and I was following. That was enough time to go for the stage.”
Earlier in the 154.4km stage, a 17-man breakaway group formed.
Sergio Samitier (Euskadi-Murias) attacked from the break with 49km to go. He was joined by Dani Navarro (Katusha-Alpecin) and Ben O’Connor (Team Dimension Data) just before the summit of the Puerto del Pozo de las Mujeres Muertas.
Samitier pushed on alone with under 12km to go, but was joined by Vasil Kiryienka (Team Ineos) soon afterwards.
Kiryienka passed the Spanish rider ahead of the final climb. Marc Soler (Movistar Team) made his way across to the lone leader.
Kiryienka was attacked by Samitier with 7.9km to go.
Kuss executed an attack one kilometre later and reached Samitier before he attacked again and went clear.
Valverde attacked the bunch, with overall leader Roglic responding.
With 3.1km to go Geoghegan Hart, who was part of the initial break, attacked and powered his way towards being second on the road, 29 seconds behind Kuss. Geoghegan Hart attacked again shortly afterwards.
Meanwhile, Soler linked up with Roglic and Valverde.
Kuss proved the strongest as he climbed his way to a stage win in Alto del Acebo.
View more results below.
Stage 15 results
1. Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma 4:19:04
2. Ruben Guerreiro (Por) Katusha-Alpecin +0:00:39
3. Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Ineos +0:00:40
4. Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Euskadi Basque Country-Murias +0:00:53
5. Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain-Merida +0:01:49
6. Ben O’Connor (Aus) Dimension Data +0:02:05
7. Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First +0:02:11
8. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma +0:02:14
9. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
10. Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal +0:02:48
54. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data +0:13:20
105. Nicholas Dlamini (RSA) Dimension Data +0:19:58
121. Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data +0:21:11
143. Willie Smit (RSA) Katusha-Alpecin +0:27:59
1. Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 58:10:32
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team +0:02:25
3. Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates +0:03:42
4. Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team +0:03:59
5. Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team +0:05:09
6. Rafal Majka (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe +0:07:14
7. Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits +0:09:08
8. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team Sunweb +0:09:15
9. Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal +0:09:44
10. Hermann Pernsteiner (Aut) Bahrain-Merida +0:11:39
43. Louis Meintjes (RSA) Dimension Data +1:16:08
90. Nicholas Dlamini (RSA) Dimension Data +2:09:57
104. Willie Smit (RSA) Katusha-Alpecin +2:22:07
129. Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data +2:45:54