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Jesus Herrada wins Spanish Vuelta’s 11th stage. Colorado rider Sepp Kuss keeps overall lead

Spain La Vuelta Cycling
Posted at 9:26 AM, Sep 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-07 11:26:55-04

VINUESA, Spain (AP) — Spain’s Jesús Herrada pulled away on an uphill climb to win the 11th stage of the Spanish Vuelta on Wednesday, while American rider Sepp Kuss kept the race lead for a fourth straight day.

Kuss, who grew up riding his bicycle in Durango, graduated from CU Boulder in 2017.

Herrada separated from a small breakaway group including Geraint Thomas and crossed the finish line atop the category-one Laguna Negra ascent in 3 hours, 29 minutes. It was a third career win at the Vuelta for the 33-year-old Herrada. Romain Grégoire was second, three seconds behind. Thomas was fifth.

Kuss was not challenged for the overall lead as main contenders led the peloton at the finish of the mostly flat 163.5-kilometer (101.5-mile) ride starting in Lerma in Spain’s north-central woodlands.

Kuss stayed 26 seconds ahead of Marc Soler in the overall standings.

Defending champion Remco Evenepoel is third, 1:09 back while three-time winner Primoz Roglic is 1:36 behind in fourth. Lenny Martinez, João Almeida, two-time Tour de France winner Jonas Vinegaard, and Juan Ayuso are all within 2:25.

Kuss, Roglic and Vinegaard are Jumbo-Visma teammates, while Soler, Almeida and Ayuso are all on UAE Team Emirates. Evenepoel leads Soudal-Quickstep.

Last year, Roglic was aiming for a fourth straight title until he crashed and had to withdraw from the three-week race.

Thursday’s 12th stage is a flat 151-kilometer (94-mile) ride from Ólvega to Zaragoza.