Juan Sebastian Molano wins stage 12 of the 2023 Vuelta a España. He's sprinting across the line well clear of the rest of the field. Behind, teammate Rui Oliviera is already sitting up celebrating, while Kaden Groves, to Molano's right, finishes second and tilts his head sideways with a rueful expression.

Vuelta a España stage 12 report: Molano from way downtown

In just 200 meters, Rui Oliveira wrecks a day's worth of work by Alpecin-Deceuninck.

Joe Lindsey
by Joe Lindsey 07.09.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Juan Sebastián Molano (UAE Team Emirates) capitalized on a stunningly powerful leadout from Rui Oliveira to sweep past Alpecin-Deceuninck for a convincing sprint victory on stage 12 of the Vuelta a España. The Colombian sprinter was well back with just a few hundred meters to go when Oliveira gave him a rocket-ship ride to the front, and Molano capitalized with an unbeatable turn of speed as double stage winner Kaden Groves wasn’t able to respond until too late.



Brief analysis

Alpecin-Deceuninck's Jimmy Janssens leads his teammates on the front of stage 12 of the 2023 Vuelta a España. He's first in a line of blue-jerseyed Alpecin riders, controlling the peloton in the hopes of a sprint win for Kaden Groves.
Second prize is a set of steak knives.

Stats of the day

Much has been made of Kuss starting all three Grand Tours this year (and five in a row dating back to the 2022 Tour de France). But what’s that mean in real terms? Kuss has 68 race days so far this year and has done 10,760 race kilometers. Because of his GT focus, the vast majority of that (80%) has come in those races: as of today, he’s done 8,651 km in Grand Tours this year alone. Provided Kuss finishes in Madrid, he’ll clock just over 10,000 race kilometers in Grand Tours this season.

Sepp Kuss and Remco Evenepoel are introduced at the start of stage 12 of the 2023 Vuelta a España. Kuss, on the left, is wearing the red jersey of race leader and has a slight, open-mouth smile on his face as he looks a little to his right. Next to him on his left side is Evenepoel, wearing the white jersey of best young rider. Evenepoel faces Kuss and has a wide, close-mouthed smile on his face.
“Nice shirt; white looks good on you. Red’s more of an outsider color.”

Up next: stage 13

It’s heeeere! Arguably the 2023 Vuelta’s queen stage is upon us: a 134.7 km ride from Formigal.Huesca la Magia to the Col du Tourmalet. Three huge climbs – the hors categorie Col d’Aubisque, first category Col de Spandelles, and the finish on the Tourmalet – with over 4,200 meters of elevation gain. It’s going to be an absolutely massive, pivotal day in the race. By the finish, we’ll have a much better idea of all kinds of things: is “GC Kuss” reality? What’s the pecking order at Jumbo, especially between Roglič and Kuss? Can UAE match Jumbo’s depth? And is Evenepoel closing in on a level of form where he’s not shipping handfuls of seconds to the others on summit finishes? Riders to watch: Roglič’s aggressiveness today suggests he’s not resigned to supporting Kuss and still has his own ambitions. Juan Ayuso is currently third of UAE’s three GC contenders and this is a perfect stage for him to upend that hierarchy; Grand Tour debutant Cian Uitjdebroeks (Bora-Hansgrohe) was aggressive on stage 11 and is likely looking to move up the standings and hunt for a stage win.

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