Vuelta a España stage 3 report: Evenepoel powers into red and then crashes after finish line

Belgian left with a bloodied face but moves into the Vuelta lead after winning stage 3 in Andorra.

Remco Evenepoel wins stage 3 of the Vuelta Espana.

Dane Cash
by Dane Cash 28.08.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) stormed into the race lead on the first summit finish of the Vuelta a España, crossing the line at the Arinsal ski station in Andorra one second ahead of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and Juan Ayuso (UAE Team Emirates). Moments after his big victory, however, Evenepoel’s fortunes shifted somewhat as he crashed into one of the many people standing in a small group after the finish line.

The Belgian national road champ was left with a bloodied face, but seemed otherwise OK, at least in the immediate aftermath of the incident.

Evenepoel’s stage win propelled him into the overall race lead, with Enric Mas (Movistar) now in second place, five seconds back, and Lenny Martínez (Groupama-FDJ) in third at 11 seconds back.

Remco Evenepoel after crashing after the finish line of stage 3 of the Vuelta a España.

Brief results

Quotes of the day

Evenepoel did not mince words when expressing his frustration with the organization for the setup at the finish line, only two days after he had previously criticized the Vuelta for the dangerous conditions of the team time trial.

“Again, some things of safety,” he said after stage 3. “It was only 50 meters after the finish line, and it’s the third day in a row. It’s a bit breaking my balls now.”

He seemed to be in good humor, however, regarding his new hold on the race lead, perhaps a bit earlier than expected. When it was put to him in his post-stage interview that he was now in the red jersey only three stages into the race, he joked, “Unfortunately.”

He went on to say: “No, no, I’m going to enjoy it. It’s a very beautiful victory here in Andorra at high altitude.”

Up next

Stage 4 of the Vuelta will start in Andorra but head back into Catalonia in Spain for a finish along the Mediterranean coast at Tarragona (formerly a major Roman colony). The peloton will tackle a pair of third-category ascents in the last 65 km and the finish angles upward slightly, making this a bit tricky to predict, but it will probably be a good day for a sprinter who doesn’t mind a bit of climbing. Kaden Groves (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Alberto Dainese (DSM-Firmenich), and Bryan Coquard (Cofidis) are riders to watch.

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