E Racing bike

Rui Costa celebrates his stage victory. © ANSA / Manuel Bruque

Costa cheers – Kiss as leader on rest day

The Portuguese professional cyclist Rui Costa won the 15th stage of the Vuelta in a tactical finale involving several breakaways.

The 36-year-old road world champion from 2013 (Intermarché) won on Sunday after 158,3 km from Pamplona to Lekunberri. The German Bora professional Lennard Kämna missed the second stage victory one day after his 27th birthday when he came second in the finish sprint. Sepp Kuss from the USA easily defended his lead in the Tour of Spain.

The professional from Jumbo-Visma, who was ranked 19th on the day with the remaining favorites. crossed the finish line 2:52 minutes behind, is still ahead of his teammates Primoz Roglic (+1:37 minutes) and Jonas Vingegaard (+1:44) after the second of three racing weeks. On Sunday, Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain) came third, two seconds ahead of Remco Evenepoel (Soudal), who missed out on his second stage win in a row due to slight weaknesses uphill.

Sepp Kuss successfully defended his red jersey. © APA/afp / ANDER GILLENEA

It took almost 80 kilometers until a 15-man leading group formed around Evenepoel. On the last climb, Costa, Buitrago and Kämna pulled away decisively, and on the final descent to the finish Kämna opened up a small lead. However, the 27-year-old braked and landed in a small ditch; the fall ended lightly. Due to tactical games from Buitrago, Kämna came close again, but was slower in the finish sprint than Costa, who celebrated his first stage win on a major tour since the 2013 Tour de France.

The second day of rest for the field of drivers is scheduled for Monday. Then there are three mountain finishes in a row before the tour ends next Sunday in Madrid.

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