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Jumbo-Visma’s Roglic stays in first place; Durango’s Kuss moves up

Kuss finishes fourth on stage 7, is in eighth overall
Sepp Kuss leads a group of cyclists up a hill Friday during the Vuelta a España's seventh stage. He finished fourth on the day. (Courtesy Jumbo-Visma)

Sepp Kuss on Friday finished fourth in the seventh stage of the Vuelta a España while his teammate on Jumbo-Visma, Primoz Roglic, held onto the red leader’s jersey with a 16th-place finish.

The seventh stage, Balcon de Alicante, was the first full mountain stage of the tour, and was 152 kilometers, just over 94 miles, long.

Kuss was in the day’s breakaway and moved up to eighth place in the general classification with his fourth-place stage finish.

“The pace was so high on the first climb that that climb immediately blew up the race,” Kuss stated in the team’s race report. “It was not my intention to join the breakaway. When a number of guys who were short in the GC attacked, I just followed them. We also didn’t want to give them all the space. I tried to stick with them and wasted a lot of energy, which I lacked in the end. We knew it was going to be difficult to control the stage, and we expected the competition to put on the pressure, but we survived the day well. We can be happy with how it went.”

Roglic crossed the line in the group of favorites at just over three and a half minutes after stage winner Michael Storer.

Behind the breakaway, Team Jumbo-Visma controlled the stage with Robert Gesink, Sam Oomen and Steven Kruijswijk. They brought their leader in an ideal position to the final climb, where the Slovenian parried all attacks from the Ineos and Movistar teams.

“It was a tough day today,” Roglic said in the report. “It was very hot, and the pace was very high from the first climb. We rode at full speed all day, and there was barely time to recover. The team did a good job again today. They were very strong, and we were in control the whole time. With Sepp in the breakaway, it was an ideal situation for us.”

Jumbo-Visma is now in fifth place in the team race. Trek Segafredo is ninth.

Quinn Simmons finished 143rd Friday and is currently in 168th place. His teammate and Trek-Segafredo’s leader, Giulio Ciccone, is in 11th overall.

colivas@durangoherald.com

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