Jonas Vingegaard wins stage 16 of the 2023 Vuelta a España. He crosses the line alone, hand over his eyes, likely thinking about friend and teammate Nathan van Hooydonck, in the hospital after a car crash that morning.

Vuelta stage 16: Jonas Vingegaard is not waiting

The Dane takes a second stage, and narrows the GC, as he honors his "best friend" on a tough day.

Vingegaard’s win capped a day of rollercoaster emotions for the Jumbo team.

Joe Lindsey
by Joe Lindsey 12.09.2023 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard attacked out of the lead group to win his second mountaintop stage of the 2023 Vuelta a España, tightening the overall classification in the process, with just 29 seconds now separating him from Jumbo-Visma teammate and overall leader Sepp Kuss.



Brief analysis:

Unsettled weather and an unsettled peloton approaching the steep hills of the Asturias region.

Quote of the day

“I felt pretty good, actually. I knew going in this finish would be hard for me because it’s really explosive. I’m happy with how I rode and I was able to hang on.”

-Kuss, on surviving another day in the race lead

Up next: stage 17

A short but wicked stage awaits on this 124.4 km route in the Asturias region. It’s a tale of two halves: the opening flat and unremarkable, and three climbs in the second half, culminating in the finish atop the ridiculously steep Alto de l’Angliru (13.1 km at 9.4%), which has sustained ramps of 17%. The climb, which first featured in the Vuelta in 1999, has long been a pivotal part of the race and can produce big time gaps. The last time the race visited, in 2020, Kuss performed well here in assisting Roglič’s first overall victory at the Vuelta. All eyes will be on Vingegaard again, to see whether today’s move was an emotional ride to honor a friend or if the Dane has an eye on the overall title. Any challenge to Jumbo’s stranglehold on the GC will have to come from UAE’s Juan Ayuso or Movistar’s Enric Mas.

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